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INDEPENDENCE – Buchanan County Tourism’s Holidays at the Depot fundraiser kicked off Saturday with new decorated trees of different sizes, wreaths, décor, and music.

On Saturday, November 9, harpist Gaylord Stauffer returned to Independence to play Christmas and other musical favorites. Stauffer, a professional musician and teacher, also took time to answer a plethora of audience questions about the history of the instrument and specific technical aspects of a harp. He also shared several stories from his own experiences playing the harp.

There will be two more special events. The first is Family Day on Saturday, November 23, when a Fontana Park naturalist will lead winter activities for children from 12 to 2 p.m. The Independence Public Library children’s librarian will conduct a seasonal read aloud. Special holiday treats will be available for children who attend.

The local Independence Area Community Theater (IACT) will perform holiday music live at 12:30, 2:30, and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 7.

Viewing and bidding opportunities are available each Saturday in November as well as on December 7 from 12 to 5 p.m., and each Sunday in November from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Get your bids in by Sunday, December 8, when viewing and bidding are available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bidding officially closes at 3 p.m. Highest bidders will be notified to pick up their item. Hot cocoa, hot cider, cookies, and the Depot gift shop will be available. Admission is free, but a cash or food donation to the Independence Area Food Pantry is appreciated.

The Depot is located 1111 5th Avenue NE, Independence, just north of the railroad tracks on Highway 150.

If you have questions about any of these events, contact Katie Hund, secretary at Buchanan County Tourism, at, or 319-361-9911.