The Harbert Community Church Choir, under the direction of Carrie VanDenburgh will present their Christmas Choir Concert on Friday, December 17, at 7 p.m. Masks are expected due to the high COVID numbers in our area.

Everyone is invited for Christmas treats and refreshments following the concert. Harbert Community Church is located at 6444 Harbert Road in Sawyer at the corner of Three Oaks and Harbert roads.

‘A Christmas Menagerie’

The Harbor Country Singers (HCS) will present a free “A Christmas Menagerie” concert at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18, at Real Life Community Church, 12 E. Michigan St., Three Oaks, featuring a program of choral Christmas music and dance. Donations are welcome, and the program will be streamed on the School of American Music’s Facebook Live feed. Visit SAM’s Facebook event page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/172748403280590/events, for details.

The music of John Rutter, an English composer and conductor, will be showcased.

Directed by HCS Founder Cindy Dryden, the concert will combine vocals, piano, and dancers in “A Christmas Menagerie” designed to evoke the childlike wonder of Christmas. “I’m excited to invite a variety of local talent to add dimension and color to this year’s program,” said Dryden. “Our own accompanist, master pianist Maggie Martin, will share her unique, golden renditions of Christmas melodies, and dancers from Imagine Worship, a local liturgical dance company, will bring their graceful movements to the timeless Still Still Still. By concert’s end, everyone will be a vital part of our musical menagerie!”

The concert is free, but donations are accepted, and reservations are requested. For more information, to make a donation, and to reserve a spot, please visit the events page of the School of American Music’s website, schoolofamericanmusic.com. All current Covid protocols will be observed.

Established in 2016, the Harbor Country Singers is an independent community chorus supported by the School of American Music (SAM) and a grant from the Pokagon Fund. Founded and directed by Cindy Dryden, HCS rehearses and performs in Harbor Country for holidays and other community events. For more information, visit the School of American Music’s website, schoolofamericanmusic.com.

Hike at Grand Mere

The Harbor Country Hikers will lead a hike at Grand Mere State Park at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18.

Hikers President Pat Fisher will discuss the geology behind the Grand Marais Embankment and pre-settlement history of the area in a brief talk before the group heads out for a two-and-a-half mile hike. Grand Mere consists of almost 1,000 acres of undeveloped wetlands, woods, sand dunes and beach in Stevensville.

For driving directions to the park and other details, visit harborcountryhikers.com, or the group’s Facebook page. An all-terrain Rollator is available on a first-come, first-served basis by emailing harborcountry hikers@gmail.com.

Acorn shows

The following shows are scheduled at the Acorn, 107 Generations Dr., Three Oaks: 8 p.m. Dec. 18 – Brass from the Past; 8 p.m. Dec. 22 – Acorn Holiday Open Mic Night; 8 p.m. Dec. 23 – Harbor Country Opera presents a classic performance for the 17th anniversary of its beloved Christmas at the Acorn show; 8 p.m. Jan. 8 – Brooklyn Charmers (Steely Dan tribute); 7 p.m. Jan. 19 – Jethro Tull’s Martin Barre celebrates the 50th anniversary of the release of the iconic and legendary album Aqualung. For more, go to acorn live.org.

Christmas Eve Service

Come hear about a hope that will never fail, never forsake, and never end! Join us on Christmas Eve for worship and an inspiring message at 5:30 PM at Woodland Shores Baptist Church, 3555 Shawnee Road, Bridgman. For more details check us out at wsb church.com.

Blossomtime pageants

The Blossomtime Festival is excited to announce the 2022 Miss Blossomtime and Mr. Blossomtime Pageant. After a long hiatus due to the pandemic, community pageants are in full swing choosing their representatives to later compete for the titles of Mr. and Miss Blossomtime. The first Miss Blossomtime pageant was held in 1924, with Catherine Burrell being named Miss Blossomtime and the first Mr. Blossomtime was held in 1997, with Jake Belter being chosen as Mr. Blossomtime.

This year’s theme: “Past, Present, & Future” will be honoring the past of Blossomtime and Present with a salute to the future, has inspired two wonderful evenings of entertainment, music, and glamour. The Mr. Blossomtime and Showcase of Queens Pageant is Sunday evening, April 24th at 6:30 pm. Miss Blossomtime Pageant is the following evening on Monday, April 25th at 7 pm.

Tickets are $30 each. Premier Seating is available for $45 each. Program prices will be $5.00. Open to the public, ticket sales will be available Monday, April 4th. The pageants, both nights, are at the Mendel Center Mainstage and are guaranteed to be wonderful evenings full of talented young ladies and gentlemen, and the coronation of the 2022 Blossomtime Royalty.

For more information on how to compete in the local community pageants please contact the Blossomtime office at office@blossom timefestival.org or (269) 982-8016.

Childcare eligibility expands

The little things you do for your child in their early years make a big difference. More families now qualify for free or low-cost childcare for children up to age 12 through the Child Development and Care (CDC) program.

The CDC program pays childcare providers an hourly rate for care, but it may not cover the full cost. You may be expected to pay the remaining amount that the subsidy does not cover.

If you have questions about whether you qualify or how to apply, www.visitMichigan.gov/childcare or contact your local MDHHS office.

Holiday Treat Pop-up

Blue Plate Cafe will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19, to offer an array of holiday baked goods to take-away or to enjoy in the cafe with seasonal beverages (coffees, hot teas, cider, and cocoa).

On-the-counter goodies will include peppermint hot chocolate mini bundts, spiced cranberry white chocolate blondies, French silk brownie bars, brown butter sugar cookie bars, pecan cinnamon chip scones, cookies, sweet breads and more.

The order-ahead deadline is Dec. 16. Profits from the event will be donated to local charities.

For more, go to www.blueplatemichigan.com.

Food for Fines

This holiday season, the Bridgman Public Library will accept nonperishable food items, paper products and toiletries as payment for any amount of overdue fines. The program runs to January 8, 2022.

Donations will only cover overdue fines, not lost/damaged fees. Check in at the front desk with your items. All contributions will benefit the Lake Township/Bridgman Community.

No fines? No problem! Donations are accepted at the library any time of the year.

The Bridgman Public Library Winter Reading Programs will take place Dec. 20-Feb. 5. Complete the challenge and win a prize! Sign up by calling the library at 269-465-3663.

The Library will be closed December 24 & 25 and Jan. 1, and open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 31.

LIGHTS at Fernwood

Fernwood, 13988 Range Line Road, Niles, will host the holiday LIGHTS event to January 2, Thursdays through Sundays. The event also will offer refreshments and gift shopping.

The event marks a return to a 15-year holiday tradition at Fernwood that paused in 2008. Tickets are available online for one-hour entries from 5 to 6 p.m., 6 to 7 p.m., 7 to 8 p.m., and 8 to 9 p.m. at www.fernwoodbotanical.org/lights. The price is $15 for the general public, with discounted admission for children. Volunteers may go to the website and sign up to help during the more than 400 time slots.

Showing at the Vickers

The Vickers Theatre, 6 North Elm St., Three Oaks, is showing “Julia,” “House of Gucci,” “King Richard,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (7 p.m. Dec. 18) and “A Christmas Story (7 p.m. Dec. 21). For more, go to https://vickerstheatre.com.

Remembrance wreaths

On December 18 at 12 p.m. the Rebecca Dewey DAR Chapter will be helping Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, Michigan, to Remember and Honor our veterans by laying remembrance wreaths on the graves of our country’s fallen heroes.

Please help us honor and remember as many fallen heroes as possible by sponsoring remembrance wreaths, volunteering on Wreaths Day, or inviting your family and friends to attend with you.

Thank you so much for supporting the Rebecca Dewey NSDAR and Wreaths Across America. Link: www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/M10171P

Mobile food pantry

A Feeding American Mobile Food Pantry is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at Harbert Community Church, 6444 Harbert Road, Sawyer.

For information on other upcoming Mobile Food Pantry visits, log on to: https://www.feedwm.org/mobile-pantry-schedule/

Winter Coat Drive

Friends of New Troy’s annual Winter Coat Drive has returned to the New Troy Community Center, 13372 California Road. Clean, gently-used coats, hats, scarves, boots, gloves, and mittens for all sizes may be dropped off at the Center. There is a particular need for children’s coats and boots. Please check your closets, and help spread the word.

A limited selection of winter coats is already available. Anyone in need is invited to stop by the Community Center and select something they like. Items are located on a rack in the hallway. Proof of income or residency is not required. Center hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon and Monday through Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

For more information, call the Center at 269-426-3090.

4-H Holiday Bash

The 4-H Holiday Bash, open to Berrien County 4-H families (who may bring family and friends with them by registering in advance) is scheduled for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22 at the Garden Ice Arena, 1626 West Glenlord Ave, St. Joseph.

Activities will include ice bumper cars, ice skating and more (bumper car times will be assigned ahead of time so look for a confirmation email. Families may bring their own ice skates; however, ice skate rental is included.

To register, go to https://events.anr.msu.edu/Berrien4HHolidayBash2021/

The deadline to register is Monday, Dec. 20, 2021. For more information, call the local Berrien County MSU Extension Office at 269-927-5674.

Story Hour in New Troy

Wiggles & Giggles with Miss Ollie, New Troy Community Center’s Story Hour for pre-schoolers takes place Tuesdays from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. throughout the school year.

In addition to stories, children will do projects, games, crafts, and other learning experiences with former elementary school teacher, Ollie Jane Rosenthal, who always provides fo a fun, enriching time.

All children 3 years or older are welcome to attend. You do not need to be a resident of New Troy, but parents are required to remain with their children. Friends of New Troy recommends that visitors wear masks in the Community Center, located at 13372 California Road, New Troy. For more information, call 269-426-3909.

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