VILLAGE TREE – The community of Oakwood has a new village Christmas tree on First Street in the park downtown. It is lit every evening at 4 p.m. Mayor Brian Ripke offered thanks to Chad, John, Ron, village council and all donors for decorating the tree. Susan Bohner/Paulding County Progress
VILLAGE TREE – The community of Oakwood has a new village Christmas tree on First Street in the park downtown. It is lit every evening at 4 p.m. Mayor Brian Ripke offered thanks to Chad, John, Ron, village council and all donors for decorating the tree. Susan Bohner/Paulding County Progress
By MELINDA KRICK

Progress Editor

November is winding down and excitement is building to the Christmas holiday. The sights, sounds and tastes of the season are everywhere in Paulding County and nearby communities. Start a family tradition by attending these special activities.

Mark your calendar now to attend:

Events In Progress –

Some projects to help those in need this season already are under way, including T.G.I.F., Christmas For Kids and Neighbors In Need.

Salvation Army Bell Ringers kettle collections at Paulding Chief Supermarket from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Bell ringers are needed; call Jackie Teegarden at 419-784-2150 to schedule.

Lights Before Christmas at the Toledo Zoo, now through Dec. 31. Open until 8 p.m. weekdays and 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Over one million lights, ice slide, bumper cars on ice. For details and entertainment schedule, visit www.toledozoo.org/lights. Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

“Snow Days” Holiday Garden Exhibit at the Botanical Conservatory in Fort Wayne now through Jan. 7. For special event, activities and hours, visit www.botanicalconservatory.org

The Headwaters Park Ice Skating Rink in downtown Fort Wayne open daily with extended hours for the holidays. Kids age 13 and under can skate free every Wednesday. Skate rental available. For schedule and additional information, visit www.fortwayneparks.org.

Fantasy of Lights at Franke Park in Fort Wayne open now through Dec. 31, Friday and Saturday 6-10 p.m., other nights 6-9 p.m. Drive through more than 80 lighted and animated displays depicting holiday scenes.

32nd annual Festival of Gingerbread now through Dec. 10 at the History Center in downtown Fort Wayne. For special events and hours, visit www.fwhistorycenter.com.

Christmas Garden Holiday Light Display now through Jan. 1 from 5:30-10:30 p.m. at Van Wert Children’s Garden in Smiley Park, 1409 Leeson Ave. Free admission.

See nearly 100 decorated trees at the Delphos Canal Commission “Celebrate Christmas” tree festival now through Dec. 30, Thursdays 9 a.m.-noon and Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4 p.m. at the museum. Free admission. Visit www.delphoscanalcommission.com.

Wednesday, Nov. 29 –

Christmas For Kids live drive from 7-9 a.m. at Wayne Trace High School.

Drop off donated items for TGIF giveaway from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. at the OSU Extension building at the fairgrounds.

Defiance County Fairgrounds Christmas Cruise-Thru & Holiday Festival, 6-9 p.m. at the fairgrounds in Hicksville. Free-will donation.

Thursday, Nov. 30 –

Final day to drop off donated items for TGIF giveaway, from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at the OSU Extension building at the fairgrounds.

“Let’s Make a Christmas Stocking” class at 6 p.m. at the Paulding County Carnegie Library in Paulding. Basic sewing skills required. All materials supplied. Pre-registration required as space is limited; call 419-399-2032.

Defiance County Fairgrounds Christmas Cruise-Thru & Holiday Festival, 6-9 p.m. at the fairgrounds in Hicksville. Free-will donation.

Friday, Dec. 1 –

Mitten/Scarf Tree project begins at Paulding County Carnegie Library. Donate new hats, scarves or gloves and place them on the tree; items will be distributed throughout the county.

Today is reservation deadline for Paulding Schools’ annual Senior Citizens’ Christmas Breakfast for district residents age 60 and older, on Dec. 6; call 419-399-4656, Ext. 1512.

Today is registration deadline for Wayne Trace’s annual senior citizens’ “Dinner For a Dollar” luncheon for district residents age 62 and older on Dec. 7. The event will be held at 1:15 p.m. in the junior high gym. To RSVP, call 419-399-4100 or 419-622-5171 (select #2 at prompt), or email saylorc@wt.k12.oh.us.

Antwerp Chamber of Commerce annual Christmas Tree Lighting, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Green Way Park, downtown next to the town hall. The Antwerp show choir, choir and band will perform, St. Nick will visit and refreshments available.

Kiwanis Hometown Christmas in Delphos; Santa parade starts 6:30 p.m. down Main Street.

Holiday Lights at the Fair hosted by 4-H Interstate Exchange Club at Van Wert County Fairgrounds. Drive through more than 60 light displays, 6-9 p.m.

Defiance County Fairgrounds Christmas Cruise-Thru & Holiday Festival, 6-9 p.m. at the fairgrounds in Hicksville. Free-will donation. Live reindeer tonight.

Siberian Solstice Band holiday concert 7 p.m. at Defiance Christian Church.

Defiance College Chamber Singers and Black Swamp Symphony Orchestra holiday concert at 7 p.m. at St. John United Church of Christ, Defiance. Free admission; free-will offering.

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Van Wert at 7:30 p.m. For ticket information, call 419-238-6722 or visit www.npacvw.org.

Saturday, Dec. 2 –

Annual TGIF (Thank God It’s Free) giveaway 9 a.m.-noon at the OSU Extension Building at the fairgrounds, hosted by Paulding UMC.

Shop the Square event 10 a.m.-3 p.m. sponsored by the Paulding Chamber, Friends of the Chamber, and the Downtown Revitalization Committee. Three buildings downtown will be filled with 16 vendors/artisans and local authors and Santa downtown to encourage you to shop local. Other retailers and businesses will be participating.

Meet Santa Day from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Paulding Eagles, sponsored by Paulding Lions Club. Crafts, treats and lunch (free for kids, provided by the Eagles Ladies Auxiliary, small fee for adults) from 11 a.m.-noon. Santa arrives by fire truck and will visit with kids. Children’s raffle, adult raffle drawing, Christmas music. Open to the public.

Santa Claus will be in the Santa House at Herb Monroe Community Park in Paulding from 1-3 p.m. to meet with kids.

The Friends of the Putnam County District Library, 136 Putnam Parkway, Ottawa, is sponsoring its 26th Annual Christmas Tree Festival from Dec. 2-Jan. 4 during library hours. More than 35 decorated trees will be on display beginning with an open house on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 1-3 p.m. with music, refreshments, and a visit from Santa.

Holiday Lights at the Fair hosted by 4-H Interstate Exchange Club at Van Wert County Fairgrounds. Drive through more than 60 light displays, 6-9 p.m.

Defiance County Fairgrounds Christmas Cruise-Thru & Holiday Festival, 6-9 p.m. at the fairgrounds in Hicksville. Free-will donation. Live reindeer tonight, carriage rides, Christmas pony.

The Black Swamp Symphony Orchestra will present a holiday concert at 7 p.m. at the St. Paul Lutheran Church, 601 Flatrock Dr., Paulding.

Siberian Solstice Band holiday concert 7 p.m. at Bryan Arts and Education Center, Bryan.

Sunday, Dec. 3 –

First day of Advent.

Defiance College Chamber Singers Christmas Concert, 4-6 p.m. at Paulding Church of the Nazarene

Christmas Hope Walk benefitting Relay For Life of Paulding County, 5-7:30 p.m. Self-guided tour of six beautifully decorated private homes in Paulding with bonus seventh home and party with light refreshments. Tickets $8 per person; kids 10 and under free. For tickets, contact Louella Thomas at 419-399-3547 or email Cheryl.Eddy@cancer.org.

Holiday Lights at the Fair hosted by 4-H Interstate Exchange Club at Van Wert County Fairgrounds. Drive through more than 60 light displays, 6-9 p.m.

Defiance County Fairgrounds Christmas Cruise-Thru & Holiday Festival, 6-9 p.m. at the fairgrounds in Hicksville. Free-will donation. Visit with Santa.

Siberian Solstice Band holiday concert 7 p.m. at Kingsley United Methodist Church in Van Wert.

Monday, Dec. 4 –

“Tell Us Your Story” craft session all day at Payne Branch Library.

Defiance County Fairgrounds Christmas Cruise-Thru & Holiday Festival, 6-9 p.m. at the fairgrounds in Hicksville. Free-will donation.

Wayne Trace Jr. High band and choir Christmas concert at 7 p.m. in the high school gym.

Tuesday, Dec. 5 –

“Grinchmas” Party at 6 p.m. at Antwerp Branch Library. All ages welcome.

Defiance County Fairgrounds Christmas Cruise-Thru & Holiday Festival, 6-9 p.m. at the fairgrounds in Hicksville. Free-will donation.

Antwerp 2nd/3rd Grade winter concert at 7 p.m. at the school.

Defiance College Community Band will offer a Holiday Pops concert at 7 p.m. at the Defiance Community Auditorium downtown. Free admission.

Wednesday, Dec. 6 –

Paulding Schools’ annual Senior Citizens’ Christmas Breakfast for district residents age 60 and older at 8:30 a.m. in the auditeria; doors open 8:15 a.m.; reservations due Dec. 1 at 419-399-4656, Ext. 1512.

Christmas For Kids live drive from 5-7 p.m. at Oakleaf Restaurant in Oakwood. This will be the season’s final live drive in Paulding County.

Defiance County Fairgrounds Christmas Cruise-Thru & Holiday Festival, 6-9 p.m. at the fairgrounds in Hicksville. Free-will donation.

Thursday, Dec. 7 –

Wayne Trace’s annual senior citizens’ “Dinner For a Dollar” luncheon for district residents age 62 and older at 1:15 p.m. in the junior high gym; reservations due Dec. 1 at 419-399-4100 or 419-622-5171 (select #2 at prompt), or email saylorc@wt.k12.oh.us.

Grover Hill Elementary Christmas program “How to Teach a Reindeer to Fly” at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., along with a PTO basket raffle and bake sale.

Woodland Wonderland from 5:30-7 p.m. at Cooper Community Library branch in Oakwood. Reading by the fireplace, free books for your child’s home library (while supplies last), games, treats and horse and carriage rides to the fire station to meet Santa.

Defiance County Fairgrounds Christmas Cruise-Thru & Holiday Festival, 6-9 p.m. at the fairgrounds in Hicksville. Free-will donation.

Note: Look for more events in next week’s Progress. To add your event, email progress@progressnewspaper.org.