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Christmas parade, party highlight Muskego weekend

Santa, reindeer make appearances at Old Settlement Center

Nov. 6, 2009

Muskego — Reindeer will be prancing and pawing in Muskego as the city throws its annual Christmas party - Muskego's Country Christmas - on Nov. 21.

Cupid, one of the three reindeer who will hoof it to Muskego, will pose for professional photos with kids and adults. The other two, Dancer and Comet, will greet visitors from an enclosure.

A chance to meet a real reindeer will be only part of the festivities at the Muskego Old Settlement Center, S8074 Racine Ave., after the Christmas parade.

Chamber moves date

The holiday celebration sponsored by the Muskego Area Chamber of Commerce has been moved up this year to Nov. 21 from its usual spot on the calendar, the first Saturday in December. The main reason was to escape cold weather, event chairwoman Krisann Durnford said.

Last year's temperatures in the single digits froze those watching Muskego's first Christmas parade, she said.

Free shuttle service will be available in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot on Racine Avenue and Janesville Road going to the parade and the Settlement Center.

The second edition of the Christmas parade will have the Muskego High School band being joined by the Nick Contorno Orchestra to add more music to the procession. And Durnford is expecting at least four floats resplendent in the parade theme of Wisconsin Christmas Traditions.

Among the new units this year will be several equestrians including Muskego horse breeders Linda and Butch Haita.

Linda said she will be aboard Harley and Butch will ride Lakota, both male paints and both big. The couple breeds pinto draft horses.

"I think I'll come dressed as an elf," Linda said. Maybe Harley will wear little antlers, she said.

Both horses will come in Christmas finery with manes braided with Christmas ribbon and maybe wearing a Christmas wreath, she said.

Also new to the parade will be the Wacky Wheeler who does acrobatics inside, outside and on top of a huge metal wheel.

And, of course, Santa Claus will be the highlight of the parade.

Bring food for Muskego pantry

The procession will step off at 2 p.m. and take Pioneer Drive from Janesville Road to City Hall, S8200 Racine Ave. Along the parade route will be barrels for nonperishable food donations to the Muskego food pantry, which has been running low as the holidays approach.

"We would really love it if everyone could bring something and we can bless people at this time of year," Durnford said.

The parade sponsored by M&I Bank will take about 20 minutes and fans can then either walk or take the shuttle to the Settlement Center.

That is where the reindeer will be waiting for them and horse and carriage, hay wagon and children's train rides will be offered.

Santa also will be upstairs in the Old Town Hall and a puppet show will make the wait go faster for the little ones.

Kids can also take in the candy shoppe and storytelling in the prairie school. And for the adults, the Pioneer Pub will serve and sell Christmas Brew and holiday wine in the log house. All the buildings will be decorated with lights compliments of area businesses, churches and clubs. Everybody can warm up at the traditional bonfire.

Cindy Phillips of Reindeer Games in the town of Erin said the reindeer are looking forward to being part of Muskego's Christmas celebration. The seven reindeer who live on the farm love to go on the road, she said. When the vehicle pulls up to take a few to a celebration, they all prance around wondering which ones will get to go, she said.

They are social and very tame with experienced handlers, Phillips said.

"Cupid will put her head on Jessie's knee (also known as a Christmas elf) and fall asleep," Phillips said.

"We love taking them out, it's so much fun," she said.

AT A GLANCE

The Christmas in the Country schedule for Nov. 21:

2 p.m. - Wisconsin Christmas Traditions parade steps off on Pioneer Drive at Janesville Road and proceeds south on Pioneer to City Hall

2:45 to 3:45 p.m. - activities at the Muskego Old Settlement Center, S8074 Racine Ave., include Santa posing for photos in the Old Town Hall; meet reindeer and have professional photos with a reindeer; horse and carriage, hay wagon and children's train rides; puppet shows; a candy shoppe and storytelling in the prairie school; the Pioneer Pub serving Christmas Brew and holiday wine in the log house; a performance by the Muskego High School women's choir, the Singing Stilettos in the old Country Church; a model railroad layout in the lower level of the Old Town Hall; snacks and concessions along with hot chocolate also in the Old Town Hall; and a bonfire.

3:45 p.m. - Santa will join Mayor John Johnson in lighting the official Christmas tree. The Muskego High School men's a cappella group, the Midnight Men, will perform.

After the tree lighting - all the activities will restart and run until the 6 p.m. closing.

4:30 and 6 p.m. - two sittings of a live Nativity by the Muskego Apostolic Tabernacle in the Old Country Church

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