Imagine Hillsboro's Festivals and Events Committee will hold the fifth annual Storybook Christmas festival on Saturday, Dec. 7. Unlike previous years, the entirety of the festival will take place on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Holiday festivities will begin bright-and-early on Saturday morning with Hillsboro Junior High School Volleyball Team's annual Frosty 5K. The early-morning run will begin at 8 a.m., with proceeds to benefit the team's equipment and transportation costs. Register online at https://runsignup.com/- search for Hillsboro Lady Dragon Frosty 5K.
Those who prefer a slower start to the morning, may want to head to Hillsboro Moose Lodge #1377 for their annual Breakfast with Santa, from 8 to 10 a.m., at the lodge.
The Christmas Market officially opens at 10 a.m. A variety of specialty vendors will be located inside of St. Paul's Lutheran Church basement, selling custom, handmade items and crafts. Hillsboro's downtown businesses will also be open for holiday shopping. Food vendors will be on-site offering holiday novelties such as roasted chestnuts and spiced wine, as well as local favorites like the Street Eats food truck.
In addition to holiday shopping, A Storybook Christmas features a variety of events and entertainment. Santa Claus will make his grand carriage ride up Main Street at 10 a.m. From noon to 2 p.m. a host of beloved Christmas characters and strolling carolers will be out-and-about, interacting with event attendees.
Families will have plenty of opportunities to get Christmas photos. Ken Meade Photography will have a Christmas Photo Setup at the Courthouse Annex beginning at 10 a.m. Tabitha Bock Photography studio, located along Main Street, will have a Photos with Santa setup from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Free horse drawn carriage rides, down Main Street, will begin at 10 a.m. and free showings of "A Christmas Story" will be held at 11 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. at the Orpheum Theatre. Local talent, Mia Sherer will take the Lincoln Plaza stage to kick off Saturday morning's entertainment. Paul Sellers of Stray Dog DJ/Karaoke will be playing holiday mixes throughout the event. Dr. Patty Whitworth, Illustrator Jean Mehochko and Editor Barb Hewitt will hold signings for their newest holiday book, A Tree-Mendous Tale, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and again from 5 to 6 p.m. at Evi Salon.
Hardcore Hammers will host the Hardcore Splitter, a log splitting competition, at 10 a.m. The winner will take home a $1,000 grand prize. Pre-registration is required and can be done online, at www.hardcoresplitter.com, up to the day of the event. Hardcore Hammers will also offer free axe sharpening at the event.
Hillsboro Library Director Shelley Kolb will host a Gingerbread-themed children's program, from noon to 1 p.m. at St. Paul's Lutheran Church.
Children, and adults can participate in the character scavenger hunt throughout the day. Chris and Brianne Hubbart will host a free Looney Tunes ornament making workshop at Chamber's Flooring and Covering at 11 a.m., courtesy of Hubbart Wood and the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity. Across the street at Half-Time Bar and Grill, Jessica Collins of Soul73Graffiti will offer an adult 21 and up, paint class. Cost is $25 per person. Registration is required via the Soul73Graffiti Facebook page.
Several competitions will be held. A Cindy Lou Who and Friends Look-a-Like contest will be held at 10:30 a.m. Participants are encouraged to dress as Cindy Lou Who, the Grinch, or other beloved Christmas characters. Prizes will be awarded in each category.
Atlas 46 and the City of Hillsboro have teamed up to host a Holiday Build Battle from 2 to 5 p.m. Three pre-selected teams will be given the chance to build the ultimate holiday decoration, using only provided materials. The winner will take home $500 and qualify to compete in a finale build. Those interested in competing are asked to submit a video on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #a46buildbattle, or may obtain an application at the Atlas 46 location in Hillsboro.
Head over to Chamber's Floor Covering and cast your vote for the best gingerbread house. Both pre-made kits and homemade gingerbread houses are welcome, but will be grouped in separate categories. The competition is open to children and adults (13 and up). Prizes will be awarded the night of the event.
The Beckemeyer Elementary School Choir will perform on the Lincoln Plaza Stage at 3 p.m. Following the choir, Hillsboro district third graders will place their hand-made ornaments on the community Christmas tree.
Greg Holcolmb-Country Financial and the Montgomery County Farm Bureau will host A Very Country Christmas from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at Hillsboro Moose Lodge. The free children's event will close during the lighted parade and re-open from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The holiday event is designed for children ages two through 12 years old, and will feature a variety of games and prizes. Santa Claus will be in attendance and attendees will receive treats from Mrs. Claus' kitchen.
Area singers, and non-singers alike, can perform their favorite Christmas carols on the Lincoln Plaza Stage, during the So You Think You Can Carol competition. The caroling competition will begin at 4 p.m. and will be judged by audience response.
The annual lighted parade will step off at 6 p.m. Parade line up will begin at 5 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church with judging to take place at 5:30 p.m. This year's theme is A Storybook Christmas, Choose Your Favorite Christmas Story. Winners will be awarded in each category: walker, bike, pet and float - with two winners to be awarded in the float category. For more information contact Heather at 217-556-1656 or Mandy at 217-313-9979.
A Storybook Christmas festivities will culminate with the tree lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. The ceremony will include musical performances by the Hillsboro High School Chamber Choir, Shaw Riggs and Analise Best, Mia Sherer and the Hillsboro High School Marching Band. All activities will close during the lighted parade and the tree lighting ceremony.
Stop by the Imagine Hillsboro Tent to pick up an event map, and purchase exclusive merchandise including raffle tickets. The Festivals and Events Committee will sell tickets for a chance to win two-holiday packages during the event. Winners will be announced the night of the event.
Guests who bring a non-perishable food item, to be donated to Hillsboro Volunteer Fire Department's Christmas Basket Drive, will be entered into a raffle for a special Storybook Christmas Basket.
Find more information about the Storybook Christmas event online at www.imagine-hillsboro.com.