Johnson County residents might need a break from the holiday season after Saturday, when the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce and other organizations have planned a jam-packed day of activities.
“You know it’s a successful holiday season when everyone cannot wait till New Years so that all of the holiday events are done,” joked Jennifer Romanoski, chair of the chamber board.
The marquee event, as usual, is the lighted Christmas parade, which will roll through downtown at 6 p.m. This year’s theme is “Country Christmas.” Immediately following the parade, there will be a firework display in Prosinski Park.
“We want to encourage people to interpret their idea of Country Christmas, whether it’s going to go cut trees in the Bighorns, whether it’s tooling around town doing carols from the back of a pickup truck, whether it’s making snowmen on the ranch or doing sleigh rides,” Romanoski said. “We’re just really excited to see people’s interpretation of Country Christmas.”
None of the parade watchers will go hungry, with Beta Sigma Phi hosting its annual chili feed in Crazy Woman Square from 4 to 6 p.m. Starting at 3 p.m., a Christmas market organized by Un’WINE’d will have refreshments, and hot chocolate from the Lions Club and s’mores from State Farm will be available as well.
Anyone looking for gifts can take advantage of Saturday’s 3, 2, 1 deals. While traditionally businesses have opened early, offering 30% sales during their opening hours before offering lesser discounts through the day, this year businesses will have the opportunity to structure their discounts as they see fit. For example, most of them have decided to open at 8 a.m. rather than the crack of dawn, Romanoski said.
If you don’t have time to take advantage of Saturday’s deals, the chamber’s $5 holiday button provides access to a range of discounts. At least 44 Johnson County businesses have signed on. Button purchasers also get a chance at weekly drawings for Buffalo Bucks, which winners can use at local businesses. The drawings started Nov. 28 and will end Dec. 19. Button discounts run through Dec. 24.
“It’s always better to shop local and support local, especially our mom and pop stores,” Romanoski said. “We’re excited that the community has stepped up. I think this is the most discounts we’ve had in quite a few years.”
Buttons are available at the chamber and some participating businesses.
There are plenty of other holiday events occurring Saturday as well.
The Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum is hosting an open house with free admission.
Learning Tree’s Holiday Expo will be on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Bomber Mountain Civic Center. Also at the civic center, Sheridan College will host Selfies with Santa from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is free, but attendees can bring donations to the Bread of Life Food Pantry.
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church will host its 137th annual Surprise You Christmas Bazaar from 8 to 11 a.m. at the church’s hall. Baked goods, candy, crafts and decorations will all be on offer.
The Buffalo Children’s Center will host its annual Christmas bazaar from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. Lunch will be available and the Grinch will be on hand for photographs to help raise funds for the center.