Hometown Christmas returns to Fairgrounds

By Theo Tate
Posted 12/7/21

Hometown Christmas found a new home last year.

The event was moved to the Montgomery County Fairgrounds after it was held at the intersection of Second Street and Highway 19 in Montgomery City the …

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Hometown Christmas returns to Fairgrounds

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Hometown Christmas found a new home last year.

The event was moved to the Montgomery County Fairgrounds after it was held at the intersection of Second Street and Highway 19 in Montgomery City the year before. The move turned out to be a successful one as numerous cars went through the drive-thru lighted display and 331 toys were given away.

So the Montgomery City Area Chamber of Commerce made the easy decision to bring this year’s Hometown Christmas back to the Fairgrounds.

“We had so many people ask us to do the lighted drive thru again, so we agreed,” said Desiree Peak, chairperson of Hometown Christmas. “I hope that we can have another great turnout this year and give back to so many of the children in our community. We have already had many donations again for toys this year. I can't thank our community enough for always pulling through.”

Hometown Christmas is scheduled for Dec. 10-12. The drive-thru lighted display will run from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. each night. The Chamber will be accepting free-will donations to support the costs of the event. Also, Santa Claus will make an appearance from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and 6 p.m.-9 p.m. on Dec. 11.

“I always look forward to Hometown Christmas,” Peak said. “It’s an amazing time of year. We love that we, as the Chamber, can put a little light in some children's eyes.”

Peak said she, along with Chamber President Brian Bufka and several other people, will be working on the display outdoors.

“Putting together any event can be overwhelming,” Peak said. “Brian has laid a lot of the groundwork that I just need to follow and add to. He had a great crew that helped in the past.”

The light display will start at the back gate behind Reach Church and into the Fairgrounds and end at the Merchants Building.

Hometown Christmas was switched to the Fairgrounds in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bufka came up with the idea of having a drive-thru display from his yearly visits to the Way of Lights at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Ill.

“Brian did an amazing job last year of putting this together when everything was closed up because of COVID,” Peak said.

Peak said she’s thrilled that Hometown Christmas is back at the Fairgrounds for another year.

“The Fair Board has been amazing to work with,” the chairperson said. “The Chamber and myself are very thankful that they have allowed us to utilize their facilities again this year.”

Also, a goodie bag will be offered to each vehicle during the drive-thru display. Any businesses or individuals who want to include items in the goodie bags must turn them in to 1st Place Printing by 5 p.m. on Dec. 1.

Local law enforcement agencies and fire and EMS members will be in attendance from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Dec. 11. The Montgomery City Public Library will have a booth available at the event that day as well.

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