The Fremont Opera House will have its fourth annual “Our Little Christmas Festival and Open House” event with singing, wreaths and cookies on Sunday afternoon.
The festival will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. at the opera house, 541 N. Broad St. There is no entry fee, but the opera house is asking for a $5 donation.
The event will feature singers from various choirs, a silent auction for wreaths, a raffle for a wooden truck and a Christmas village setup. Cookies and cider will also be available.
Lee Meyer, opera house executive director, said the event started as a way for the opera house to afford utilities like heating, air conditioning, lighting and cleaning.
“We have to pay for all of that, so we came up with this idea four years ago as something to help us raise money and support the ongoing operations of the opera house,” she said.
The silent auction will have 14 Christmas wreaths donated by local businesses that participants can sign up for.
“There’s everything from beautiful bows and ribbons to one of the wreaths has hand-carved birds on it,” Meyer said. “So there’s just a real variety.”
Various choirs will perform at the event, with the Johnson Crossing Select Choir at 1 p.m., Fremont Middle School Ladies First at 2 p.m., and the Fremont High School Chorale at 3 p.m.
Mike and Amy Spies of Fremont also will perform Christmas music, with Mike Spies playing the guitar and Amy Spies on the piano.
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The event will have a raffle for a handmade wooden truck made by Fremont historian John Reeves. Tickets will be $5 for one and $10 for three.
Meyer said Reeves has been a longtime supporter of the opera house and wanted to donate the truck to bring it some more revenue.
“The original part of the opera house is upstairs, so John has been working on that for quite a few years, and he continues to work on it,” she said. “The opera house is just very dear to him, so he thought he would help us out and maybe bring some revenue in with his little truck.”
A Christmas village setup from Department 56 will be displayed at the event. The village is owned by the Rev. Doug Smith of the Fremont First United Methodist Church and his wife, Carolyn.
“They put them all up and they wanted to share those with the people coming in, so it’s really very interesting,” Meyer said. “They have all the intricate little people and the little cars and it’s all lit up. It’s beautiful.”
Since the first open house was held four years ago, Meyer said her favorite part is listening to the different music acts at the opera house.
“I just enjoy hearing the students sing,” she said. “I’m an old music teacher as well, so it’s always a treat for me to hear them sing.”
But Meyer said she knows that the warm atmosphere at the event keeps the Fremont community coming back every year.
“I also think they enjoy seeing the wreaths every year, since they’re always new and are very creative,” she said. And the truck and the Christmas village are all new, too, so every year is different.”