By Deb Christianson
In Historic Schoolcraft, the first weekend of December is set aside for the downtown Christmas Walk. It was the brainchild of Norma Taggert of Norma’s Antiques & Collectibles on Grand Street, as a way for people to discover the charm of a small-town Christmas – and sell antiques.
This tradition continues after 31 years.
Fourteen businesses along Schoolcraft’s downtown corridor or close by will be open on Friday, December 6 from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, December 7 from 9-ish to 3-ish for holiday fun. Antique and collectible shoppers can begin their journey north of town at Nana D’s Attic, a consignment shop with 40-plus vendors and something for everyone. The Grand Antique Gallery, LLC, resides in the location where Norma’s Antiques & Collectibles was and features a nice selection of antiques, glassware & artwork. Myles Cooley will provide music and there will be live caricatures by Bryce Cooley. Having a caricature done by Bryce is a new Schoolcraft tradition. The Schoolcraft Antique Mall will have hors d’oeuvres and lots of freshly selected antiques.
Both of Schoolcraft’s historic churches participate joyously in this Walk. The United Methodist Church, dedicated in 1852, will have a sloppy joe and pie supper from 5-7 p.m. on Friday and a homemade soup lunch from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday. There will be a bake sale, craft sale, silent auction, white elephant sale, and more. Church secretary Kimm Carlin says, “We always have a packed house.”
Friday night, the festivities for the historic First Presbyterian Church, dedicated in 1892, will be at the DeVries Law offices in downtown Schoolcraft with craft items, baked goods and a raffle. Saturday, Westminster Hall will be open while serving pasties and chicken ‘n’ biscuits from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thecraft sale, bake sale and raffle continue there with Attic Treasures.
Founded in 1908, Kalamazoo County State Bank boasts that it is the oldest independently owned and operated community bank in Kalamazoo County. It will be on hand with donuts and cider on Friday night and invite guests to stop by and guess the amount of money in the “Christmas Present Jar.”
On Hayward Street next to the Schoolcraft Post Office, the Ladies Library Building, which was dedicated in 1896, will be open both days with a craft and cookie sale. Elizabeth Hamilton at the Ladies Library Building will sign her eagerly anticipated new book titled, “Have Camera Will Travel in the Historic Village of Schoolcraft, Michigan.” $25.
Santa Claus will be visiting several places in Schoolcraft during the Walk, so there are no excuses to miss the jolly fellow. He will be stopping at Lake Michigan Credit Union on Friday night. Warm up with coffee, hot chocolate, cookies, and a few ho-ho-hos. The credit union will have Lazy Man BBQ in its parking lot both Friday and Saturday. On Friday, at the American Legion on Clay Street, Santa will appear with the Mrs. The American Legion is serving cocktails, beer, wine and sloppy joes. There will also be cookie decorating. For professional photos with Santa, look no further than Reflections Modern Photography at the Beauty Bar on Saturday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Cost: $15 per child or group.
For the modern and local, Salon Harlow invites you to shop-sip-snack on Friday with Pop Up-Shop Boutique Oz. Close by on Grand Street, a new shop, Craft & Grand, will be open both Friday and Saturday with locally made goods, cookies, and cocoa. Biggby’s will be serving its specialty coffee on Friday night. On Saturday, there will be $1.99 hot/iced specialty beverages up to 20 ounces with upgrades available. Popular local Nonla Taqueria will be serving Mexican cuisine at its finest on both Friday and Saturday.
For the little ones, in addition to visiting with Santa, there’s a Princesses and Pirates sing-along with Disney classics. The little ones are invited to appear in their sparkliest tiara or blackest pirate hat and sing like no one is listening. Signing her new book, “Meant for Her,” will be Joy Avery Melville on Saturday at the Library. $12.65. Historical walking caroling tours through town are planned.
Visit the Village of Schoolcraft for a map of Walk festivities and a free postcard of the Underground Railroad by Wm Christiansen Photography. The map is printed on Starwhite Vicksburg Tiara from the former Simpson Paper Company. More information and updates will be updated at pureschoolcraft.org or call 679-5795 for further information.