Fans of Christmas cheer will get a chance to celebrate the season early when the Washington County Ministerial Association hosts the seventh annual "Christmas in July" event July 19.

Numerous area churches and organizations will provide food, drinks and activities at the event, which will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Blair city pool.

"There's a number of different churches that come together to put this on to make it available and free for the public," said Linda Degner, who helps organize the event.

First Lutheran, Living Hope and Herman Community churches' worship bands will provide music. Country Bible, Christ Lutheran, Hillside, First Baptist and other churches and organizations will donate food and drink for the event, which includes hot dogs, chips and cookies.

Materials will also be provided for kids to make bracelets or some other type of craft.

"A lot of times we'll do bracelets or some other craft that's ostensibly Christmas related since it's Christmas in July," Degner said. "Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't, it's something interactive for the kids to do."

Blair Volunteer Fire Department will also have a truck at the event, Degner said.

"One of the trucks will bring the hose and hose everybody — not everybody, but anybody who wants to be," she said. "The kids get to run under the big fire hose."

The pool will open exclusively for the event at 7 p.m. This is the second year the event has been at the pool, and the first year was certainly a success, Degner said.

"It was fantastic," she said. "We've done it at the Depot at Lions Park before, and it's always so hot. The pool was a huge win."

Those attending can offer a freewill donation of non-perishable food items to go to the Washington County Food Pantry, but Degner said it isn't required.

"We want this to be a community event that we give to the community, and then if the community wants to give to the food pantry, great," she said. "(The event) is a gift for the community just as Jesus gave his gift to us."

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