A community Christmas celebration

Vee Bar Ranch horses Goliath and Decker pull a wagon with passengers in 2015 through the town of Centennial during Christmas in Centennial. This years event is schedule throughout the day Saturday in Centennial. 

The Centennial community will be decked out in its holiday best this weekend for the mountain town’s annual Christmas celebration. Christmas in Centennial is set to kick off at 8:30 a.m. Saturday with Santa’s arrival at the Mountain View Hotel for the first of two breakfast sessions. The day continues with craft vendors, a book signing, wagon rides, a train display, carols and Christmas treats around town.

“It’s a small-town Christmas celebration in the old tradition,” organizer Ken Costello said.

The longstanding event has been going on for about 15 years, he said, as a way to celebrate Christmas with residents and visitors.

“It’s just to have fun,” Costello said.

Santa is scheduled for two reservation-only breakfasts with a couple dozen of his favorite children, which Costello said would include one-on-one time and photo opportunities.

“They’re all right there with Santa,” he said of diners.

While Santa is tucking away first and second breakfast, Mrs. Claus will be stationed at the Centennial Library for a gift-making workshop for children from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The library will also have books for sale.

Meanwhile, arts and crafts vendors will be set up at Centennial School from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. selling Wyoming-made products and baked goods. The U.S. Forest Service will be selling Christmas tree permits at the school as well.

“People can make a nice day of it — get a permit, get a tree, then come back to town and have lunch or dinner,” Costello said. “There’s lots of going on.”

The J/N Mercantile will have Wyoming-made arts and jewelry for sale, with snacks and hot cider for visitors.

Author Steven Horn is scheduled to sign books at the Country Junction from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., including his latest installment in the Sam Dawson mystery series, “When They Were Young.”

Weather permitting, the Vee Bar Guest Ranch will have its horse-drawn wagon on site for rides around town.

“It’s got the most beautiful harness I’ve ever seen,” Costello said.

The Nici Self Museum will be open from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and have a Christmas train display on hand. Author Jerry Hansen will be signing his book, “Laramie Railroads.”

The town’s restaurants will be open for lunch and dinner, and Centennial Valley Community Church will have hot drinks and cookies for visitors.

Around town, the Eppson Center Melodees will be singing Christmas carols from 10 a.m.-noon.

Costello said visitors could spend their time checking off items on their Christmas lists, or they could soak in the atmosphere without spending any money at all.

“There’s something going on just about everywhere in town,” he said.

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