Christmas celebrations around Larimer County

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There’s no place like home for the holidays, and the small and mountain towns throughout north Larimer County are full of home-style events that welcome everyone this month.

The place to be on Dec. 3 is the Town of Wellington. The day starts with the community food drive in the Town Hall parking lot, 3735 Cleveland Ave., where volunteers will be collecting non-perishable food items from 8 a.m. to noon. Toys for Tots will also be on hand to collect new unwrapped toys for girls and boys.

At 9 a.m., the Eyestone Elementary craft fair opens at the school, 4000 Wilson Ave. Food, fun and holiday shopping will be the order of the day until 3 p.m.

By 4 p.m., it will be time for a bite. The Wellington Fire Protection District serves up its annual all-you-can-eat chili supper at the Wellington Community Church until 9 p.m., along with a silent auction, door prizes and entertainment. All this for just $4 adults, $2.50 kids, 3 and under free.

The festivities would not be complete without the Christmas Parade of Lights along Cleveland Avenue, which kicks off at 5 p.m., through the sponsorship of the Wellington Community Activities Committee. Info: 970-568-3381.

Dec. 3 is also the date for the 35th annual Stove Prairie Winter Festival to benefit Stove Prairie Mountain School in Bellvue. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the historic school will offer a full range of gift items handmade by more than 50 local artists and vendors; holiday trees and wreaths; food, from baked goods to hot dogs and hamburgers and homemade chili; a silent auction; Richard Schmid prints; activities for the kids including a chance to visit with Santa Claus, and the ever-popular $1 raffle for a king-size quilt handmade by school parents. Parking and admission free. Info: 970-484-1233.

A real old-fashioned Christmas starts with finding the perfect tree to bring home. The Canyon Lakes Ranger District’s tree cutting area near Red Feather Lakes will be open from Dec. 3 through 11, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Permits are required to cut trees, and are available for $10 per tree — limit of five to a customer — at the site on weekends, or at the district offices at 2150 Centre Ave., Building E, in Fort Collins for weekday cutting. Cash or checks only. Tire chains for 4-wheel drive vehicles required, chainsaws prohibited. Info: 970-295-6700.

Cookies and cocoa will be available for tree cutters on both weekends — Dec. 3 and 4 and 10 and 11 — at the Chapel in the Pines on Red Feather Lakes Road, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Proceeds benefit programs and extracurricular events at Red Feather Lakes Elementary School. Info: 970-488-6550.

The weekend of Dec. 3 and 4 brings the Greening of Red Feather in the Village of Red Feather Lakes, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. The annual holiday craft fair features more than 40 booths, children’s activities, Santa, historic cabin tour, food/beverages and bake sales. Proceeds benefit Red Feather Lakes Historical Society. Info: 970-495-0560.

The Virginia Dale Community Club invites everyone to its annual Christmas program and covered-dish supper on Dec. 11, from 12:30 to 4 p.m, at the Stage Station/Club House north of Livermore. Bring a dish to share and if you wish, a wrapped grab-bag gift of no more than $2 for an adult or a child. The program of carols, a skit by the Not Ready for Prime Time Virginia Dale Players and a visit from Santa begins following supper. Info: 495-1828 or 493-5544; please call in the event of inclement weather.

This is the time of year when it is better to give than to receive. LaPorte Presbyterian Church makes it easy for the under-14 crowd to do some gift shopping for family members on Dec. 2 and 3. All gifts cost 25 cents — the church will supply quarters to children without them — and will be wrapped and tagged by volunteers. The Christmas Shop will be open from 3:30 to 6 p.m. on Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, at the church at 3820 W. County Road 54G, just west of the Cache La Poudre schools. Info: 970-482-0151.

Bob’s Coffee Shop, across from Cache La Poudre Elementary, is celebrating its second anniversary this year with a holiday singalong. Owner Chris McCullough invites everyone to stop by for carols and warm holiday refreshments on Dec. 23 at 6 p.m. Info: 970-691-8911.

Dec. 17 is the date for the annual A Bunkhouse Christmas concert at the Livermore Community Hall. Joining singing cowboy Gary McMahan on stage this year will be the quartet Reckless Abandon. Tickets available at the door for $10 each, $18 for couples. Info and reservations: 970-221-0997.

Happy holidays and best wishes for the new year from the staff of the North Forty News!