CHRISTMAS IN ALVORD – A Christmas parade and tree lighting in Alvord is Saturday, Dec. 14. The parade begins at 6 p.m. at the old middle school and will travel down Farm Road 1655 and end at City Hall, where the lighting of the Christmas tree will follow. Santa will be on hand for photos, and toys, clothes and monetary donations for the Alvord Spirit of Christmas will be accepted.
SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS – Bridgeport Spirit of Christmas Angel Trees are up at The Community Bank, Citibank and Bridgeport High School. Donations are being accepted now through Friday, Dec. 13, and will be used to provide vouchers for local families, giving them the opportunity to shop for their children’s Christmas toys and clothes.
CARDS IN THE PARK – Bridgeport Parks and Rec’s seventh annual Christmas Cards in the Park will be displayed now through Monday, Jan. 6, in Harwood Park. There is no fee, and it is open to everyone on a first-come, first-serve basis. Call 940-683-3480 for more information.
SHOPPING FRENZY – Holiday Shopping Frenzy sponsored by the Bridgeport Area Chamber of Commerce is Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 12-14. There will be two $500 cash and two $50 Brookshire’s gift card giveaways. Participants will be entered for every $20 spent at any participating business – C&O Communications/AT&T, Maria’s Gift and Flower Shoppe, Aaron’s Sales and Leasing, The Hope Chest, Terra Cotta Boutique, Bright Ideas Lighting and More, Ink ‘N’ Stitch, Valu-Rite Pharmacy, Mas Meat and Produce Market, Ken’s Applicance Lawn and Garden, Gail’s Pharmacy and Gifts, All Wise Garden Center and Landscaping, Skin and Body Works Spa, It’s Personal, Brownie Points Cupcakes and Sweetness, Premier Jewelry by Carla McCain, Bridgeport Guns and Ammo and Skeeter Bugs. The drawing will be held 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Bridgeport Stage, 1009 Halsell St. Participants do not have to be present to win.
CHRISTMAS PAGEANT – The Bridgeport Area Chamber of Commerce will host a Christmas pageant for boys and girls 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Bridgeport Stage. General entry fee is $20, but there will also be optional categories for best eyes, best smile, best outfit and best personality. Optional categories are $5 each or $20 for all. Age categories are 0 to 23 months, 2 to 3 years, 4 to 6 years and 7 to 9 years. Winners in each age group will ride in the lighted parade. For more information, call Pam at 940-393-5987 or Tiffany at 940-683-2076. Deadline to enter is 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11.
CHRISTMAS FUN – Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree events in downtown Bridgeport are Saturday, Dec. 14, beginning with a pageant at 10 a.m.; Miss Twister Christmas Showoff at 1 p.m.; pictures with Santa from 2:30 to 4 p.m.; and music by Heartstrings from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., all at Bridgeport Stage. A lighted Christmas parade through downtown is at 6 p.m. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “The Polar Express” will be shown, starting at 7 p.m. at The Stage. Donations of coats, socks, scarves, other winter apparel and cash will be accepted to help those in need. For more information, call 940-683-3404 or 940-683-2076.
RED KETTLE CAMPAIGN – The Bridgeport Salvation Army Unit is looking for bell-ringers for the Christmas 2013 Red Kettle campaign. One-hour slots are available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 12, 18 and 21 at Wal-Mart; and 3 to 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 22, at Brookshire’s and Market Place. To sign up, email email@example.com or call 940-683-2780.
BREAKFAST WITH SANTA – Decatur Fire Department is hosting a free pancake breakfast with Santa Claus 7 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at the fire hall, 1705 S. State St.
SANTA ON A FIRETRUCK – Santa will be escorted by the Decatur Fire Department through the streets of Decatur nightly Sunday, Dec. 15, through Thursday, Dec. 19. The schedule and route will be published in an upcoming issue of the Wise County Messenger.
SANTA COPS – Donations of new, unwrapped toys for Santa Cops can be dropped off at the Decatur Police Department through Monday, Dec. 16. For more information, call Ashly DoByns at 940-393-0300.
COLLECTING TOYS – Vincent Wealth Management, 1650 FM 51 South, in Decatur is collecting new, unwrapped toys for Decatur PD’s Santa Cops through Tuesday, Dec. 17. For more information, call 940-627-6111.
RINGERS WANTED – Bell ringers are needed for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign at Wal-Mart in Decatur this holiday season. Ringers are needed daily now until Christmas. To sign up as an individual or as a group, call Tana Fedric at 940-627-5859. All money collected by the Salvation Army at the Wal-Mart location stays in Wise County thanks to local volunteers.
TOY DRIVE – Trey Horn with Farmer’s Insurance is sponsoring a toy drive now through Dec. 21 for Wise Kid Care Center. Toys may be donated at 1559 W. U.S. 380, in Decatur. For more information, call Gina at 940-626-2188.
TOWN HISTORY – The Rhome Public Library has reprinted the book, “Rhome, A Pioneer History” by Catherine Troxell Gonzalez encompassing the history of early settlers and families in Rhome and Wise County. It includes many historical pictures of people and places, and it includes a lot of family history. The paperback book can be purchased at the library, 265 W. BC. Cost is $20.
LIGHTNG UP THE BAY – Members of the Greater Runaway Bay Alliance will compile a map of all local homes and businesses decorated for the holidays. Copies of the map will be available at local businesses, at City Hall and outside the civic center. To be included on the map, contact Jackie Ishmael at 940-575-4592 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kay Federspiel at 940-575-4916. Deadline is Tuesday, Dec. 10.
ELDERLY ANGELS – Angel Trees for the elderly are available at RGA Home Care in Bridgeport and Toast Yur Bunz in Decatur. Wrapped gifts, with the angel tags, must be returned by Monday, Dec. 16. For more information, call 940-683-6370.
EXTENSION PROGRAM – Texas A&M Agrilife, Wise County is sponsoring a pesticide applicator license recertification program 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, at the Decatur Civic Center. Topics include brush management, back to basics land stewardship, laws and regulations, resistant weeds and lawn care fundamentals. Those who participate will earn five continuing education units – three general, one integrated pest management and one laws and regulations. Cost is $40, which includes lunch. To register, call the Extension office at 940-627-3341.
COLLECTING TOYS – Wise Foundation is collecting new, unwrapped toys and Spanish Bibles to give to kids on their mission trip to Mexico. To donate, call 940-393-9684, 940-393-9761 or 940-393-9753 (Spanish), before Friday, Dec. 20.
SMOKED MEAT – Wise Electric Co-op will be smoking 75 briskets ($50) and 50 hams ($40). All proceeds benefit local charities. Call 940-627-2167 to place an order. Pickup is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20.
FUEL FOR A CURE – The Cancer Center at Wise will be collecting Wal-Mart gift cards in increments of $25 to help cancer patients pay for gas. Many patients travel long distances every day. Donated gift cards can be dropped off at the Center 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call Laura Tanner at 940-626-2300.
EXPERIENCE WORKS – Experience Works helps low-income seniors with multiple barriers to employment get the training they need to find good jobs in Decatur and Wise County. Experience Works is a national, charitable, community-based program. Originally named Green Thumb and chartered in 1965 as a small, rural demonstration program, Experience Works has grown to be the nation’s leading provider of training, employment and community service for low-income older people. The program is funded by grants, contracts, foundations and contributions from organizations and individuals. For more information, call Amanda White at 817-771-3370 or email email@example.com.
DRIVERS NEEDED – Metroport Meals On Wheels in Roanoke needs drivers. The organization serves southwest Wise County including Aurora, Newark, Boyd and Rhome. Meals are picked up from Tater Junction and delivered during the lunch hour Monday through Friday. Drivers may volunteer one day a week or just a few days per month. For more information, call Amy Bennos at 817-491-8534.
NORTHWEST READS – The Northwest ISD Partners in Education program seeks volunteers for the sixth annual Northwest Reads 9 to 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 23. Participants will choose from a variety of books to read to pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade students at one of the school district’s 17 elementary schools. This event provides community members with an opportunity to inspire young NISD students to become lifelong readers. For more information, call 817-215-0172.
MOBILE APP – Northwest ISD will release the second phase of its mobile app on Wednesday, Jan. 22. The update will include the ability to check your student’s grades, attendance, lunch account balance and more. The NISD Mobile App is available on Google Play and the Apple iTunes store. For more information, go to www.nisdtx.org/mobileapp.