Lights of Laurel returns Saturday and Sunday
LAUREL — Just in time to get you in the holiday spirit is Lights of Laurel, which returns for the fourth year after being called off in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Missy Sharer Pieters, who is coordinating the event with Jocelin Johnson, said they’re eager for people to turn out for the Christmas Roast Beast Market, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Laurel American Legion and its parking lot.
“We will have 10 vendors, and want them to have a good, successful day,” Sharer Pieters said.
This indoor/outdoor market is a freewill donation for admission. The following businesses will be on hand: Mayhew’s Seafood Market Truck, SP Beef, Scheffert Garden, Jiyū American Wagyu, Pitchfork Primitives & Fodder, Rada Cutlery, The Bunny Farm, Wonderful Thyme Farm, Wilder Bakery and Knob Hill Farm. Most of these are Central Iowa businesses.
Trisha Wilder, of Wilder Bakery, is based in Marshalltown. She also serves as manager of the Cartwright Farmers Market.
“Missy contacted me through the market. I am always looking for new events and I have never been to this one before. I am excited,” Wilder said. “I’m selling mini dessert breads. I will have around 40 flavors.”
Browse meats and seafood, cheeses, charcuterie boards, jams and jellies, sweets and more.
At 2 p.m. on Saturday, head to Laurel Community Church to build and decorate a gingerbread house. Reservations are required and the cost is $20 per person. All materials will be provided. To reserve your spot contact Steph Hansen at: 720-229-9803 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
All ages are welcome.
Sunday will feature a cookie crawl through town, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Participants will start at Laurel Community Church to purchase a bucket in which to hold the goodies, which costs $7.
“It’s like trick or treating, but for Christmas cookies. Some people wear Christmas costumes,” Sharer Pieters noted.
Stop at participating Laurel businesses to collect your cookies.
“We asked each business to either bake or buy them,” she added. “Over the years, we’ve suggested to our businesses to have 15 dozen to 20 dozen available at each stop.”
From 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. a free wreath festival and silent auction will be set up at the Pour House, in honor of Billy Luse. Bidding closes at 4:15 p.m. Must be present to win. Last year’s festival featured Christmas trees instead.
“Each of the businesses on the cookie crawl are asked to donate some sort of decorated wreath,” Sharer Pieters. “They could be real or artificial and probably tie-in to the theme of their business.”
From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., also at the Pour House, enjoy a free concert put on by Party of Two. Donations of non-perishable items will be accepted to benefit the Laurel Food Pantry.
“This whole weekend helps us fund our Laurel Food Pantry,” she said. “We started the cookie crawl in 2019 because we wanted to have a holiday event. It actually raised some money. The pantry has really taken off.”
Throughout the weekend, an anonymous group of judges will be driving around Laurel to see which homes should win the House Decorating Contest.
“The winners will be announced at noon on Sunday, at the Laurel Community Church,” Sharer Pieters said. “If you live outside of town, reach out to us to make sure the judges see your house, too.”
There will be one winner in the following categories:
Clark Griswold (for most over the top house)
Best Use of Color
Winners will receive a $50 food gift card.
From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, stop in at Aman Photography for walk-in portrait options.
Also on Sunday, the Gilman Rustlers/Laurel Livewires 4-H Club will have a Christmas craft station set up in the Laurel Community Church, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
To learn more, visit: www.facebook.com/LaurelWeen.