Tribune staff reports
Festive holiday events, unique shopping and quaint, old-fashioned charm are a part of Christmas in the Village of Nashville.
From late November throughout the month of December, the holidays will be in full swing in Brown County.
From Santa sightings and a vibrant holiday lights parade to Victorian candlelight dinners and a Christmas sing-along, there is something for everyone to enjoy this holiday season, according to a news release from Brown County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
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Kick off the holidays the day after Thanksgiving at the Visitors Center Holiday Open House. Santa and his elves will be at the visitor center from noon to 5 p.m. Friday. There will be complimentary hot chocolate and cookies, face painting and Stiles Studios will offer free photos with Santa.
An official tree lighting ceremony will be at 6 p.m. Friday at the Brown County History Center, complete with some live holiday tunes by Brown County Christmas Music Sing-Along featured artists.
Rather than battling the chaotic Black Friday crowds at the mall, make it a “Brown Friday” by visiting local shops at the Village of Nashville.
The holiday fun continues the following weekend during Brown County’s annual Weekend of Giving. That begins Dec. 4 with the 38th annual Children’s Christmas Fund Benefit Auction at Out of the Ordinary Restaurant at 6 p.m. Proceeds from this special auction ensure that children in need in the Brown County community will receive a new item of clothing for Christmas.
Weekend of Giving continues Dec. 5 with the Holiday Lights Parade and Toy Drive. Brightly lit floats will travel through the Village of Nashville, starting at 6 p.m. Hot chocolate and cookies will be provided along the parade route.
Residents and visitors are encouraged to bring a new unwrapped toy to the parade. Donated toys will be dropped off with the local Salvation Army and distributed to less-fortunate Brown County families.
Last year, more than 800 toys were donated, which more than doubled the amount given in 2013.
Stuff a Stocking also is a part of Weekend of Giving. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 5, children will have the opportunity to follow a map to more than 25 local merchants and gather treats, ornaments, toys and more to stuff their Christmas stockings.
All proceeds will benefit the Brown County Community Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Brown County area.
Tickets for Stuff a Stocking can be purchased online in advance at browncountygives.org or at the Brown County Community Foundation office and the Brown County Visitors Center the day of the event. Only 300 tickets will be sold.
Also Dec. 5, take a lighted wagon ride at Shireman Homestead and enjoy Holiday at the Farm from 5 to 7 p.m. Experience an enchanted village, visit with Santa and check out his treat house and craft workshop. Holiday at the Farm will be open Friday through Sunday and again Dec. 4 to 6, 11 to 13 and 18 to 23.
Children also can enjoy Breakfast with Santa from 8 to 11 a.m. Dec. 5 and 6 at the Brown County Inn, complete with drawings for gifts, a hot chocolate bar and more. Mrs. Claus will be at Bear Hardware from noon to 2 p.m. handing out tasty cookies for her guests.
Those looking to get active this holiday season can participate in the 16th annual Reindeer Romp, an 8K run and 5K run/walk, at the Brown County State Park. The race is set for 1 p.m. Dec. 5, with proceeds benefiting the Brown County YMCA’s Y financial assistance program. Registration is available online at browncountyymca.org/events/reindeer-romp.
The T.C. Steele State Historic Site will offer some old-fashioned holiday fun during Steele’s Country Christmas. From noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 5, guests can step back in time to the early 1920s when Steele, a legendary painter, celebrated the holidays at the House of the Singing Winds. Visit with St. Nicholas, make ornaments and small hand-crafted gifts and enjoy live music and refreshments. Tickets can be purchased on site.
As far as holiday musical entertainment goes, visitors can check out Believe, a seasonal music show featuring vocalists and members of the Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra.
It can be seen at the Brown County Playhouse Friday through Sunday and Dec. 4 to 6, 11 to 13 and 18 to 20. Show times and tickets are available online at browncountyplayhouse.org.
Another holiday show is the Brown County Christmas Music Sing-Along at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Brown County Inn. A hometown show that pulls the audience right into the fun, the event will showcase the talent of local musicians and include some laughter, prizes and more. Visitors are encouraged to bring along their best singing voices and join in on the action.
Tickets are available online at browncountychristmas.com or in person at the Brown County Inn, The Wild Olive and the Brown County Visitors Center.
Other holiday events in December in Brown County include Victorian Candlelight Christmas Dinners, the Santa Train and Christmas Bird Count, to name a few.
For information about holiday events, attractions and activities in Brown County, visit christmasinbrowncounty.com or call the Brown County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 812-988-7303.