Christmas comes to Washington County


While the holidays may be more subdued due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are still plenty of events for Washington County residents to get into the Christmas spirit.

Children can still get their letters to Santa via the big guy's mailbox, which is located at the Blair Police Department. If letters are dropped off by Dec. 18, children will receive a reply from Santa.

The Washington County Chamber of Commerce is hosting its annual Brightly Shining Holiday Light Contest. The contest runs now through Jan. 8. People can nominate themselves or their neighbors for the chance to win $50 in Chamber Bucks.

To enter, submit the name, address and phone number of the homeowner to the chamber by calling 402-533-4455 or emailing

Dec. 1 is the National Day of Giving and the fourth annual Washington County Gives, a joint venture of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and the Blair Area Community Foundation. The event raises funds for area nonprofit organizations.

Donations can be made online at or at the chamber.

Here's a roundup of other holiday-themed events happening this month.


• This is the last day to make a donation for the Blair Optimist International Club's annual toy drive. Donations can include new and used toys, puzzles, games and books. Donation boxes are located inside several businesses and the Washington County Chamber of Commerce.

For more information, contact Jordan at 402-533-4455 or


• Santa comes to town for a visit from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Blair Volunteer Fire Department South Station. To help maintain social distancing, Santa will be greeting everyone from the bed of a firetruck. His elves will have a “special gift” for all the girls and boys to take home.

The event is hosted by the Blair Volunteer and Rescue and Blair Volunteer Firefighters Auxiliary.

• The village of Arlington will host a tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. in Village Park. There will be hot chocolate and entertainment.


• The Blair Family YMCA is hosting Cookies with Santa fundraiser from 2 to 4 p.m. Children can get their photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus, decorate a cooking, drink hot cocoa and do a craft. Donations from the event will go toward the YMCA's youth programs.

Social distancing and masks are required. Hand sanitizer will be available.

Dec. 12

• Fort Calhoun will host its annual Christmas in Calhoun, which will include a number of events.

• A holiday craft fair will take place from noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 12-13 at the Central School gym, 403 S. 16th St. More than 30 vendors will offer their wares. Admission at the door is a $2 donation or two food items for the Washington County Food Pantry.

Dec. 13

• The Arlington Post Prom Committee hosts its annual Christmas light contest fundraiser.

Dec. 19

• Eagle Athletic Club in Arlington will host an Ugly Sweater 5K Run and Walk at 9 a.m. The fun run will include three different routes through Arlington. Registration is due by Dec. 7 to order a sweatshirt for the event.

What did we miss?

Do you have a holiday-related event? We can include it in our calendar of events. Email Managing Editor Leeanna Ellis at


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