Centennial Village Celebrates Christmas Dec. 2 & 3

Ella Marie Hayes Photos by Noel V. Hayes Jr.
Noel V. Hayes Jr.The little church at Centennial Village.

A door to yesterday will open and visitors will be able to imagine lives of those who settled the land in Northern Colorado when Greeley’s Centennial Village Museum celebrates “Prairie Christmas” on Tuesday, December 2 and Wednesday, December 3. Greeley Museums will be showcasing the hardy settlers who created holiday meals and traditions from what was at hand.

Nearly 200 people enjoyed the “Stille Nacht” event focusing on German Russians last year various ethnic groups. This year’s “progressive dinner tour” includes a seated dinner in Hall House, a children’s program in Weld Centennial Church, tours of Carpenter House and Poudre General Store, fiddle music and dancing in Rattlesnake Kate’s house, coffee at the chuck wagon and dessert in the Shaw House. Selma’s Store will be open for leisurely shopping both evenings. Centennial Village is at 14th Ave. and A St. in northeast Greeley.

Prairie Christmas tickets are on sale now at the Greeley History Museum, 714 – 8th St., during regular hours. Advance tickets are required for the 5:00 p.m., 5:45, and 6:30 p.m. seatings/tours each evening. Tickets are $15 per person. The event is most suitable for adults or children 12 and over. Dress warmly – you’ll be walking from building to building and it might be wintry weather.

For more information, or to purchase tickets with a credit card, call 970-336-4189. Tickets are going fast.

For the young ones, “Prairie KidsFest”, will feature a day packed with old-fashioned fun on Saturday, December 6th from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Children will be invited to take a photo with Cowboy Santa, dip their own candle (ages 5+), send a Santa-gram to the North Pole, break a piñata, watch the blacksmith make their own take-home tiny horseshoe, listen to stories in the schoolhouse, print their own greeting card on the Line-o-Scribe, enjoy hot chocolate and a cookie in the Stone House, and see all the decorated Christmas trees in the houses.

Admission is Adults, $6, and Children 3-11, $4. For more information call (970) 350-9220.

Shoppers of all ages looking for hand-crafted and out-of-the-ordinary gifts are invited to Selma’s Store gift shop at Centennial Village. The store, which occupies an original 1870 Union colony rental house, will re-open for its annual holiday sale November 17th to December 6th. Hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

“We try to carry many hand-made gifts and holiday decorations from local artisans and crafts people,” according to Jody Lopez, store manager. “Plus we have some favorite home accessories, cookbooks, toys and kitchen items that customers have requested over the last year.”

There are handmade soaps and lotions, embroidered towels and pillowcases, aprons, hand-painted porcelain and pieces of Scandinavian rosemaling. In addition, the shelves display jewelry, Victorian-enameled ornaments, a variety of kitchen items, Scandinavian, Hispanic and German-Russian cookbooks, and tea-related merchandise of all kinds.

The food area includes hand-made gourmet peanut and cashew brittle, holiday wassail mix, caramel corn, and themed coffees, such as the Greeley Grind and Utopian Blend. For young ones on the gift list there is a selection of toys, dolls, and games. On the last day of the store sale, December 6, which is also the Prairie KidsFest, customers will receive a special 10% discount on purchases in Selma’s Store.

A step back in time at Centennial Village during the 2008 Christmas festivities is sure to help readers get into the holiday spirit. To learn more, log on to