Christmas in Berthoud spreads the real meaning of the holiday

Lions Club serves chili prior and during Christmas in Berthoud Parade

By John Gardner
The Surveyor

The annual holiday event, Christmas in Berthoud, is all about giving to those in need.

“It’s really about our community taking care of these families in need right here in Berthoud,” said Kim Land, president and recipient coordinator for Christmas in Berthoud.

The annual event typically runs from Thanksgiving through the first week of December and is a charitable fundraiser organized by Grace Place Church with 100 percent of the funds distributed to local families who are experiencing tough times. The event seeks donations to purchase toys, gifts and gift cards, grocery cards and food for those most in need in the community. The event has grown over the years and this year includes a Loveland business who wanted to participate as well. To see that growing interest is special for Land, who’s been involved since 2004.

“It’s pretty cool,” she said. “And it’s not just [Loveland Chiropractic] but other businesses, and many of the craft vendors who participate are not from Berthoud, but they are here to help out too.”

This year’s goal is to raise $15,000. Last year, according to Land, the event raised more than $12,000 that helped 35 families ‒ 118 kids and 20 Berthoud military members – the most it has ever in its 11-year history.

Each vendor at Grace Place on Dec. 4-5 pays $50 to register, which goes directly to a local family as a way to purchase a gift for a child. This year Christmas in Berthoud has more participating vendors than any previous year, 34 so far, according to Land, who said part of the reason for the additional interest from vendors is due to additional space at the new facility at 375 Meadowlark Dr.

“They are more than happy to help with the event, knowing that the money is helping children,” Land said.

The added space in the auditorium allows for vendors to locate in the auditorium, so there will be performances going on while people can browse vendors’ selections.

“It will be more like malls used to be during the holidays,” Land said. “How they used to have different choirs and things going on; it added so much life.”

This year’s fundraising included coin drives at Berthoud and Ivy Stockwell elementary schools, Turner Middle school, and a food drive at the Church of Jesus Christ Later-Day Saints during the month of November. The food drive continues through Dec. 4.

Giving Trees at Hays Market, Mindful, and Berthoud Library have children’s names adorning the trees. People can take a name and purchase a gift that will be delivered to the child prior to Christmas.

There’s also the Giving Table at Hays Market where folks can purchase canned goods and other non-perishable food items that will be separated into Christmas baskets and delivered to local families. Hays Market is also donating 10 percent of the profit from all donated purchases going to Christmas in Berthoud. All Giving Trees and the Giving Table are going on until Dec. 5.

Trees will be displayed Monday, Nov. 23, and packages should be returned by Dec. 6, according to Land.

Grace Place also provides care packages to current enlisted military members from Berthoud as well.

“We want them to know that Berthoud appreciates what they are doing for us,” Land said.

Residents can also donate coats and food at several other locations around town including: Main Street Car Care and Quick Lube, the Berthoud Library, Hays Market and the Berthoud Weekly Surveyor.

“We’ve already received so much of that stuff we’re already donating it,” Land said.

A craft fair will be held Dec. 4-5 where children will be able to tell Santa what they wish for Christmas and to have their picture taken as proof. The craft fair will be at Grace Place from 4 -9 p.m. on Dec. 4, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 5. And each of the 34 vendors this year will provide an item for a silent auction. Others interested in donating items for the auction can contact Land at 532-9886.

In association with Christmas in Berthoud, the Parade of Lights commences at 5 p.m. on Dec. 5. Folks interested in participating in the parade can contact the Berthoud Area Chamber of Commerce at 532-4200 or by email at Deanne@berthoudcolorado.com.

New this year is the Berthoud Lions Club Chili Dinner at the Lions Depot located at 600 3rd St. in Berthoud, on Dec. 5. For $3, patrons will get a bowl of chili and $1 for a Johnson’s Corner cinnamon roll will be served prior to and during the parade, 4-6 p.m., according to Ken Schwols, Lions Club area leader.

Land said in the 11 years this hometown holiday event has occurred, it’s only grown because the community embraced it.

“Thanks to the community for all their help; we couldn’t do this without them,” Land said.

 

Schedule of events:

On Friday, Dec. 4, events include:

  • 4-9 p.m.: Craft Fair at Grace Place Auditorium
  • 5-9 p.m.: Photos with Santa by Hardy Photography in Grace Place Outpost
  • 5-5:15 p.m.: Performance by Just for Kix Dance Studio in Grace Place Auditorium
  • 5:45-6:30 p.m.: Performance by Kris Hickman in Grace Place Auditorium
  • 7-9 p.m.: Performance by Don Elwood Big Band in Grace Place Auditorium

On Saturday, Dec. 5:

  • 9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Craft Fair in Grace Place Auditorium
  • 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.: Photos with Santa by Hardy Photography in Grace Place Outpost
  • 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.: Children’s “Make and Take Craft Fair” in Grace Place Outpost
  • 10:30-11 a.m.: Performance by Landon Peck in Grace Place Auditorium
  • 11:30-noon: Performance by BHS Bridge Between Show Choir in Grace Place Auditorium
  • 1-1:30 p.m.: Performance by Moriarty-Moffitt School of Irish Dance
  • 2 p.m.: School Coin Collection Winner announced
  • 3:30-4 p.m.: Performance by Martha Strawbridge in Grace Place Auditorium
  • 4-6 p.m.: A $3 all-you-can-eat chili dinner at the Lions Club
  • 5 p.m.: Christmas Parade on Mountain Avenue
  • All day Berthoud Brewing and City Star Brewing will donate $1 per beer to Christmas in Berthoud.