Down Home Christmas is Saturday, Dec. 1

Kim DesFosses paints a Christmas scene in the window of the Free Clothing Store on Bethel’s Plane Street.
Nine-year-old Matt Henry, of Bethel, paints a Christmas tree in the window of the Free Clothing Store on Bethel’s Plane Street.

By Art Hunter

The tenth annual edition of Bethel’s Down Home Christmas will be getting underway this weekend, and organizers say that this year’s event will be bigger than ever.

“When we started this, people said it will never go over, it will fizzle out,” Down Home Christmas committee member Judi Adams said. “But every year we add something, and it just grows bigger.”

Adams said that spectators can expect a bigger parade this year than in the past, and that as of a week before the parade, people were still calling about participating in it.

She also said that Santa will be arriving this year as usual, but that there will be a big surprise for parade-goers. Just what that surprise is, though, will remain a secret until the parade begins at 6 p.m. Saturday.

New to this year’s Down Home Christmas will be the Santa Doggy Parade.

The Doggy Parade will be held at 11 a.m. Registration for the parade will be at Village Hardware at 10:30 a.m. Plaques will be given for Best Dressed participants. Plaques will be awarded for the winner in small, medium, and large breed categories.

“The dog parade is a new venture for us,” Adams said. “We wanted to attract more people to town, and we thought ‘what better way to attract people than with a pet parade.’ We think people will enjoy it.”

A popular Down Home Christmas event returning this year will be the Kids Fest at St. Mary’s Church.

“Everything at the Kids Fest is free,” Adams said. “There will be crafts, prizes, and games, all donated by the local business people.”

Santa will be at Kids Fest between 12 – 2 p.m. St. Mary’s youth group will be selling refreshments as their fund-raiser.

A complete list of Down Home Christmas events is available online at .