AMANA — Celebrate Christmas in the Amanas from now through Dec. 18 . Visit the Tannenbaum Forest during these dates and stroll a twinkling wonderland of lights. Enjoy 40 live, decorated Christmas trees, a Nativity scene and 17-foot tall German-style Christmas pyramid, built by five local craftsmen. Visit Santa and a live reindeer, plus live music.
The proceeds from the Tannenbaum Forest benefit our 2011 Make-A-Wish child, Brandon, who suffers from cystic fibrosis. An energetic 5-year old, he was diagnosed as an infant. His wish is to go to the San Diego Zoo because he loves animals. Santa and the Make-A-Wish Foundation will be on hand Nov. 25 at 6 p.m. for a special candlelit luminary parade down Main Street Amana to kick off this year’s event, followed by a tree lighting ceremony, caroling and hot cocoa around a bonfire.
Each of our four weekends of celebration has a different theme for 2011. Thanksgiving weekend (Nov 25-27) features Moments in Time photo opportunities at numerous businesses in the Amanas. Bring your family and friends and take advantage of these great displays to photograph lasting holiday memories. The first weekend in December (12/2-4) is the traditional Prelude to Christmas, including special programming and demonstrations at many of our shops. The Amana Heritage Museum will perform its annual Glimpse of Amana Christmas Past, a program of song, poetry, and storytelling that lets you experience Christmas in communal-era Amana. The Amana Church has its annual Holiday Bazaar and Cookie Walk, and there will be a special Christkindlmarkt at Catiri’s Art Oasis.
From Dec. 9 to 11 is Kids & Crafts weekend. Bring the kids to the Amanas for some fun ‘kids time.’ Numerous businesses have opportunities for kids to create gifts like multi-colored Christmas trees, German paper ornaments, and dip their own candy canes. Santa will even have one of his reindeer at the Tannenbaum Forest on Dec. 10 from 1 to 4 p.m.
The Music and Holiday weekend on Dec. 16 to 18 wraps up the celebration of Christmas with great musical performances and theatre performances, including the Marengo Presbyterian Handbell Choir and a community caroling party for anyone who loves to sing.
Old Creamery Theatre is performing A Don’t Hug Me Christmas Carol, Raggedy Ann and Andy’s Yuletide Adventure, and Wooden Snowflake. The Iowa Theatre Artist Company will offer A Southern Exposure, a Great Blue Herons Christmas Concert, and Lynne Rothrock’s Christmas Cabaret.
The Tannenbaum Forest and Prelude to Christmas organizers are proud to present the Prelude to Christmas for over thirty years and to work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation for the last 11 years to sponsor an area child. These events draw over 20,000 visitors to the Amana Colonies. A complete listing can be found at Festivalsinamana.com.