Thanksgiving weekend events still on the calendar

COVID-19 leads to some changes in the routine
Erica Beaumier and Laura Zielinski string electrical cords for the annual Oconto Falls Lioness Club Avenue of Lights at East Side Beach, which is due to be lighted for the season on Nov. 28.

Warren Bluhm | NEW Media
NEW Media Staff

Thanksgiving is a time when Americans are accustomed to gathering their extended families together, and the pandemic has thrown a monkey wrench into those annual plans. But a number of local traditions are soldiering through, with adjustments made for the omnipresent virus.

• Hillside Assembly of God Church, 5890 State Highway 22 West, Gillett, has scheduled its 30th annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner for 3:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25. Seating is limited this year, and diners are asked to pick a specific time when they make reservations: 3:30, 4:30 or 5:30 p.m.

In addition to in-person turkey and ham with all the trimmings, the church is also offering carry-out meals, and delivery is available to homebound residents in the Gillett, Suring, Cecil or Oconto Falls areas. For dine-in reservations, meal pickup, meal delivery or to volunteer, contact the church at 920-855-2962 or In-person reservations can also be made at

• Operation Christmas Child shoebox collections continue through the weekend at Grace Lutheran Church in Oconto Falls under the auspices of Samaritan’s Purse. Remaining curbside drop-off times at the church, 501 S. Main St., are: 5-7 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to noon Saturday; noon to 4 p.m. Sunday; and 7:30-9:30 a.m. Monday.

• The lighting of Winter Wonderland, the holiday light display at Holtwood Campground, 400 Holtwood Way, Oconto, is scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27. Visitors can view more than 150 lighted displays throughout the park from the comfort of their vehicles. There is no charge, and the lights will be on from 5-11 p.m. nightly through Jan. 3.

• Another festive light display, the Oconto Falls Lioness Club’s Avenue of Lights, is expected to launch as usual at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 28. The traditional visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, as well as Christmas carols from the Oconto Falls High School choir, are postponed this year because of COVID restrictions on large gatherings.

• Friends of the Lakes Country Public Library are moving ahead with their Holiday Craft Sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 28. Crafters will be set up at the Lakewood and Townsend town halls as well as the Bill Lazansky Building in Mountain. A Christmas tree lighting is also planned at 5 p.m. Nov. 28 at Coldwell Banker, 15251 State Highway 32, Lakewood.

• Gillett’s Christmas in the Park and Village of Lights in Lena are also moving ahead, with events starting at 3 p.m. Dec. 5 leading up to the official lighting in each community.