Enough Christmas cheer to grow the Grinch’s heart three sizes filled the streets of Rugby Saturday, Nov. 26 as businesses and local groups celebrated Small Business Saturday.
The day not only included bargains on items from one-of-a-kind décor to furniture, but free children’s activities, sightings of the Grinch himself, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus at Rugby’s Parade of Lights.
The Rugby Jaycees sponsored the kids’ activities, which included a free matinee showing of “Elf,” cookie and ornament decorating, reindeer games, letters to Santa at businesses throughout town, plus stories read by Mrs. Claus at Heart of America Public Library.
Rugby High School’s Future Business Leaders of America chapter collected new, unwrapped toys near a Christmas tree at the library to contribute to the Rugby Lions’ Project Joy, an annual event that helps families facing financial hardship give Christmas presents to their children.
Other events that appealed to all ages included s’more making at fire pits placed in Merchants Bank Park, with graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate and roasting sticks provided by the Rugby High School FBLA. Members of Rugby’s Village Arts Choir sang Christmas carols in 1850s costumes.
Warmer-than-average temperatures led to a large turnout along Main Avenue for Rugby’s Parade of Lights at 6 p.m. A line of brightly-decorated first response vehicles, floats and heavy equipment ended with a truck pulling a trailer where Santa and Mrs. Claus sat. Mrs. Claus led the crowd in a sing-a-long rendition of “Santa Claus is Coming to Rugby,” a twist on “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”
Santa waved his wand to light Rugby’s Christmas tree and visited with area children.
A skid steer vehicle decked out in lights to resemble Santa’s sleigh created by Rugby’s Highway 2 Collision Service won first place in the parade of lights float contest. A flatbed truck decorated by Rugby Manufacturing took second prize in the contest.
Read More: Rugby businesses spread Christmas cheer on Small Business Saturday