Viola Christmas Walk set for Dec. 5

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter

All Viola Area Chamber of Commerce (VACC) businesses will be open late, from 4 to 7 p.m., on Friday, Dec. 5, 2008 for the village's annual Christmas Walk. Businesses will be serving up holiday cheer and treats. This year's theme is "A Christmas to Remember."

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the Viola Fire Station from 5 - 7 p.m. and the auxiluary will be serving cookies. Area businesses will also have prize signups, with drawings being made that evening in three age categories.

The Viola United Methodist Church is one other location opened to the public that evening. They are hosting a decorated wreath contest and silent auction to bid on the wreaths. Proceeds from the wreath auction will go to the Viola Methodist Food Pantry.

Weather permitted, there will also be a live nativity at Pride Park.

During the Christmas Walk, the Viola Threshers are hosting this year's shuttle, which is an open transport that will be decorated up to transport people around the village. "They have a set route," said Jim Morrison, chamber president. Stops will be made at various locations in Viola including Morrison's Market, Farmer's State Bank, the fire station, and Viola Home Telephone and the church.

At 7 p.m. the church is ending the Christmas Walk with Christmas Carol sing-along. Music will be provided by Rose Tary and Pauline Brown. This is also the time and place where the church's wreath winners are announced, as well as the residential Christmas Lighting contest winners and business prize signup winners. Winners will be notified and wreaths will be available to pick up before noon Saturday, Dec. 6 at Farmer's State Bank in Viola.

This year's Viola residential lighting contest will be judged during the Christmas Walk, with last year's winners doing the judging. "The grand prize winner can't win again, but the others could," said Morrison. Lighting winners will receive a $75 cash prize for first, $50 for second and $25 for third. Business drawing prizes this year are a Jim Shore St. Nicolas figurine as the top prize for adults (16 and older) with registration at participating businesses. Kids prizes will also be given out to ages nine to 15 -- $20 Viola Bucks; and eight and younger -- $20 Viola Bucks.