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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • County celebrates an early Christmas

  • Prayers by oil lamp in an historic church, Santa talking to the naughty and nice, Christmas ornaments, decorations and food for sale--each was part of Saline County's Dec. 1 celebration of Christmas Saturday.
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  • Prayers by oil lamp in an historic church, Santa talking to the naughty and nice, Christmas ornaments, decorations and food for sale--each was part of Saline County's Dec. 1 celebration of Christmas Saturday.
    Local women who produced quilts, dolls, baked goods, crafts and paintings for the Saline County Homemakers Education Association took their goods to market at the Harris-Pruett Building, 107 E. Church St. in Harrisburg at 8 a.m.
    They were participating in the annual Holiday Festival during which local artisans can sell their wares.
    Georgia Murphy, Board Information Chairman said, "We always have a good turnout. I put information in the newspapers and on radio. We had good coverage.
    "All our members are getting older and I am afraid we are going to have trouble getting newer, younger members. I am 75 and I am one of the young ones.”
    Wanda Pearcy who still paints and makes dolls, clowns and snowmen at 90 is an example of the high end of the age range.
    Vickie Gingrich, 65, a painter from Tunnel HIll may be the hope for the future of the organization. She said, "I am going to paint till I die. You have to please yourself."
    She is into technology and reproduces much of her work on a Kodak inkjet printer that she bought at Wal-Mart. She has work in three galleries in Paducah, Ky.
    In Eldorado the area youth are involved in the Christmas Tree Fest held at the Old City Hall at 1604 Locust St.
    The Future Farmers of America chapter at Eldorado High School was selling poinsettias that the members had grown from sprouts in the high school green house. The plants looked lush and healthy and Grant Loudy, 17, and Jackie Hill, 19, were on hand to sell them to buyers.
    Anna Cox, Eldorado, and her sister Jane Gause, Arcadia, Fla., were looking for tree ornaments, a tree and just Christmas things.
    "We wanted to support the community so we came here," said Gause.
    They were looking at items Leslie Stanford had for sale. She was offering ornaments, toiletries, wreaths and other decorations.
    Judy Lovellette of Eldorado is the president of Main Street Eldorado and she is in charge of this annual event at the old city hall and museum. Their Christmas trees were judged but were not for sale. The trees were taken home by their owners Saturday.
    "All proceeds from the luncheon and Christmas Tree Fest go to the maintenance of the historic city hall building. There were nine vendors today. The turnout is real good. We started a little early and it is looking real good," said Lovellette."We wanted to do all we could to preserve an historic building for the community."
    In the evening Saturday Christmas was celebrated at the Old Cain Church located on the Saline County Area Museum grounds at 1600 S. Feazel St. The annual blessing of the county was held in the historic church illuminated by oil lamps from the past. The pot bellied stove was fired up and the church was quite warm on a mild night.
    Page 2 of 2 - John O'Dell led the blessing saying, "Dear Lord, bless the county and the citizens and their people and their men in service. We have the beauty of the rock formations in this county and the scenic beauty that surrounds us and gives us comfort."
    About 40 people showed up for the blessing and then retired to Aydelott Cabin on the museum grounds for refreshments. They enjoyed hot cider, hot chocolate and cookies.
     

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