In the 19th year of the Olde Tyme Christmas event in Oelwein, the event hosts are the Oelwein Chamber & Area Development and the Oelwein Daily Register. The event is being sponsored by local businesses and is successful due to the support of all the business sponsorships, participation in activities, volunteers working and the attendees. The event will be full of activities, with old favorites and a few new activities included! This year’s theme is “Holiday Hometown Heroes.” Parade entries and business windows can be decorated to honor who they believe are heroes — anyone from Spiderman to your local nurse or grocery worker — or can be decorated in the traditional Christmas spirit. All of the activities will be located in the first blocks of Frederick and Charles in downtown Oelwein. All activities will be held from 4-8 p.m, except for the Craft Show Marketplace which begins at 2 p.m.
The Craft Show Marketplace is back this year and will be held from 2-8 p.m at the Oelwein Community Plaza at 25 W. Charles. While you are at the Community Plaza, sit down for a few games of Christmas Bingo in the Mealsite room. It is FREE to play with Oelwein Dollar prizes for each game.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be located in the entryway of the OCAD office at 6 S. Frederick. Santa will not be talking to the kids personally, but will be waving and “Ho-ho-hoing” to the children on the sidewalk. You will also be able to see Santa at the finale in the lighted parade. His jolly voice will be heard echoing through downtown on the magical night that has been created for Oelwein’s Olde Tyme Christmas. Mrs. Claus will be reading stories that will be heard on the sidewalk outside. Stop by for a story and the children can pick up a Santa treat while you are there. Letters to Santa will also be able to be sent directly to Santa via the mailbox located outside of the OCAD office. Santa is sure to reply to all the letters dropped off prior to Dec. 17. The mailbox will be moved into the OCAD entryway after the Olde Tyme Christmas event to allow more time for letters to get to the North Pole.
While you stop by to wave at Santa and Mrs. Claus, be sure to peek in the OCAD office window to see the large Christmas Village Display. This display will delight the young and the old and can be viewed during the entire Christmas season.
The corner of Frederick and Charles is the location this year for the Petting Zoo brought to you by Landon Kane at Red Rock Farms. You will want to make sure you check this activity out, as you won’t be disappointed. Red Rock Farms has an array of animals that will welcome all the petting you can give them.
Bring your cameras to Olde Tyme Christmas! There will be plenty of photo opportunities at this year’s event! Five different photo op spots located in various locations. Photo Op #1 will be an old truck beside the large decorated evergreen tree in Plaza Park. Room enough for small or larger family groups. Photo Op #2 will also be located in Plaza Park which will be the large Santa statue that was originally a prop from the soap opera “As the World Turns.” He will also be standing in front of a decorated tree and located near limestone rocks for you to climb onto or sit on for your photo. Photo Op #3 will be located inside the Grand Theatre and will feature Anna, Elsa and Olaf! Stop in and warm up with the familiar characters from the movie “Frozen.” While in the theatre, Photo Op #4 will be inside as well and you can have your picture taken with the tall and ever-so happy “Elf.” Photo Op #5 will be located in Lion’s Park where you can meet up with a reindeer, snowman and polar bear.
Community Carolers will be singing at the pass through on South Frederick, next to Flowers on Main. The group will sing all your favorite Christmas carols. Listen to the joyful sounds or sing along. Also performing in the same location will be the Oelwein High School with two Mini Christmas Concerts. The OHS choir will perform at 6:30 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. The performances will delight the crowd with their fabulous talent and pitch-perfect sounds of Christmas. Dressed in period costume, they will delight the Olde Tyme Christmas attendees. The Christmas Bell Music from Christ United Presbyterian Church will ring out throughout downtown during the evening.
An activity for children will be the Christmas Spinning Wheel! Stop into Tindell Shoes to spin the wheel and win a prize. Reindeer games is a new added activity for children and will be located in the 10 block of North Frederick. The games will include a Hot Chocolate Marshmallow Toss, Reindeer Ring Toss, Snowman Bowling, Nutcracker Ring Toss, Snowman Toss and a Bean Bag Toss. Grab ‘n Go kits for Christmas Cookies will be available at Market 25. Be sure to stop by Market 25 to get your cookies that you can decorate at home!
The Crowning of Oelwein’s Grinch occurs each year at Olde Tyme Christmas. Voting for the 2020 Grinch will be by cash donations. $1 = 1 Vote. All proceeds will be donated to the Oelwein Kitchen Cupboard. The donations/votes can be dropped off or mailed to the Oelwein Kitchen Cupboard or OCAD office or given to your favorite Grinch candidate! The Oelwein Kitchen Cupboard is open Tuesday mornings from 9 a.m. – noon and Friday afternoon from 1-4 p.m. located at 31 1st Ave. N.E. The OCAD office is located at 6 South Frederick and is open 9am-4pm Monday – Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.. No food items will be accepted again this year. Candidates are chosen from within the Oelwein community. Campaigns by the candidates take place until noon on Thursday, Dec. 2. The candidate with the most votes wins the coveted title of Oelwein’s Grinch! The crowning will take place on the stage in Plaza Park at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3. The Grinch winner will also ride in the lighted parade that will begin at 8 p.m. This year’s candidates are Kay Langel — Oelwein Post Office, Marty Rosential — retired, Dave Byrd – First Baptist Church, Tim Hadley – High School Principal, and Lisa Bahe – Vogel Insurance. Please vote for your favorite Grinch and help fill the shelves at the Kitchen Cupboard.
The Christmas Tree Walk is returning in the same fashion as in 2020. Trees will be located in business windows and can be seen from the sidewalk. An array of trees will be decorated by local businesses, individuals and organizations, all beautifully and creatively decorated. Stop by the Warming Stop at 25 S. Frederick to vote for your favorite tree! Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trees. While at the Warming Stop, have a cup of FREE Hot Chocolate, listen to Christmas Music by Chet Reagan and get warmed up before heading out to more activities!
Once again, Horse Drawn Wagon Rides will be available for a ride through downtown! Rides begin at Margaret’s Crafts and travel down main street and around the block. The large wagon will hold many people at a time to enjoy a ride together. Also available for rides will be Pony Cart Rides for children! Children can enjoy a short ride starting at the corner of Frederick and Charles and will make a loop down South Frederick and back to the start! The clip clop of the horse hooves always add to the charm of the magical evening!
While riding through downtown by horse and wagon or strolling with your family and friends, you will spot a few Outdoor Vendors selling lighted toys and food. Food will also be available at the Craft Fair Marketplace and also at the Christmas Supper at the American Legion at 108 1st St. S.W. Also, don’t forget about all of the great restaurants that Oelwein has to offer that will add to your dining options! Come for the fun and dine too!
Back by popular demand, the Oelwein Fire Department will host the Marshmallow Roast located in the Plaza Park next to the Community Plaza. Come join the firemen for a sweet treat and warm up by the fire! Roasting will take place from 4-8 p.m.!
The Lighted Parade will take place at 8 p.m.. The parade will have many lighted entries and will begin at Advanced Automotive on North Frederik and head south to Strang’s Tire where it will end on 2nd St. SW. Businesses, Organizations and Individuals are encouraged to enter into the parade with floats, vehicles, etc. Entries should have lights included if possible and can be registered by calling OCAD at 283-1105.
Fireworks are coming back again this year immediately following the parade. Fireworks will be able to be viewed by looking to the South of the downtown area. Suggested viewing areas include Plaza Park, the South Parking lot behind Flowers on Main, streets and areas around Buds ‘n Blossoms and other open areas of downtown. For parade attendees, walking to the West from Frederick should get you to an area to be able to view the air display, as there will be no ground displays.
While downtown, several businesses will be open for Christmas shopping. Stop in to the beautifully decorated stores to browse the merchandise. Check items off your shopping list or find items to add to your very own Christmas wish list. You never know what you will find when shopping Oelwein.
The night is sure to be a magical experience for the entire family. You won’t want to miss a thing at the 2021 Olde Tyme Christmas in downtown Oelwein.