Christmas in Kalkaska offers something for everyone

Lauren Clark, Contributing Writer

File photo by Lauren Clark

The 2019 Christmas in Kalkaska parade will be held Friday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. in downtown Kalkaska. All are invited to come early and warm up by the large bonfire hosted by the Kalkaska Township Fire Department at Railroad Square. Stay after the parade to visit Santa and enjoy hot cocoa and cookies courtesy of the United Methodist Church and Kalkaska Kiwanis. Shown above is the Kalkaska Public Schools and Band entry in 2018 parade.


KALKASKA – Christmas in Kalkaska (CIK) is almost here! The multi-day countywide celebration includes a Christmas display competition, official Christmas tree lighting, parade, crafts, music and pancakes with Santa.

The festivities officially kick off Thursday, Dec. 5, with a bus tour of homes and businesses participating in the Christmas in Kalkaska decorating contest. The tour will depart from the Kalkaska Commission on Aging/ Senior Center (COA) promptly at 5 p.m. Cookies and hot cocoa will be offered to participants stating at 4:30 p.m.

All ages are welcome on the free bus tour; sign up is required. Call the Christmas in Kalkaska information line at 231-715-1804 to register. Leave your name, phone number and seats needed in the message system. Please do not call the COA to register.

Decorated homes and businesses that would like to participate in the competition can also call the CIK info line until Wednesday, Dec. 4.

Christmas in Kalkaska continues Friday, Dec. 6 with a parade and bonfire. Village president Harley Wales will welcome participants at 6:45 p.m. and announce winners of the decorating contests in Railroad Square. The popular parade begins at 7 p.m. with entries in the following fields: commercial, non-profit/private, and municipality. Santa will close out the parade and be available in his special house downtown for everyone to visit.

Any families, businesses, churches, or organizations that would like to participate in this year's parade are asked to contact coordinator, Tina Banko, by Monday, Dec. 2 via email:, by calling 231 564-7422 or download an application online at:

Before and after Friday’s parade, the Kalkaska Township Fire Department No. 7 (KTFD) will be hosting a large bonfire also in Railroad Square. Fire Chief Derek Hogerheide can’t wait for the opportunity to assist with the community festivities.

“I mean, who doesn’t love a big bonfire!” Hogerheide said.

Timber Trax Harvesting owner Ryan Weaver is donating the firewood to warm parade-goers. Hot cocoa and cookies will be available to all participants and spectators, donated and served by Kalkaska United Methodist Church and Kalkaska Kiwanis.

The merrymaking continues Saturday, Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the 14th annual Christmas in Kalkaska Holiday Craft Show held at Kalkaska Middle School (KMS).

The CIK craft show is again partnering with the KMS National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) to bring pancakes, Santa and craft stations to the event. Breakfast with Santa is scheduled from 9-11 a.m. in the KMS cafeteria and visits with the Jolly Old Elf are available from 10 a.m. until noon.

The creative kids’ craft stations will be staffed by the NJHS student members. Crafts offered include special reindeer treats, snowman soup, ornament making and more – including, games.

New this year is the Community In Schools organization offering a fundraising gift-wrapping station for patrons of the craft fair. They will also be selling items created by students in CIS’ after school program.

Read the full story in our regular edition of The Review. To subscribe to the paper for just $34 a year, which includes access to our full online e-edition, please go to the subscription page on this website at:



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