Dowagiac Christmas Open House Weekend to showcase local youth

Published 10:59 am Thursday, October 28, 2021

DOWAGIAC — A holiday showcase of local youth is one of several highlights of Dowagiac’s Christmas celebration that kicks off downtown Nov. 12-13.

Hosted by the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce and Ascension Borgess-Lee Hospital, Open House Saturday, Nov. 13, brings together four hours of holiday performances by Dowagiac Union High School choir and marching band, along with Miss Michele & Co., and Positively Dance of Green Dance Academy.

The performance showcase, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., coincides with the appearance of the Chamber’s presentation of an Old-World Santa, European-styled Mrs. Claus and life-size snow globe, along with horse-drawn wagon rides and other family events, staged in and around Beckwith Park, and at Wood Fire Italian Trattoria and Venue 132.

Vickie Phillipson, chamber of commerce and DDA program director and chairman of Open House Weekend, said she is pleased to have Hidden Acres join the celebration with its holiday costumed farm animals.  Families can meet and greet the miniature donkey and goats at Beckwith Park, where they can shop for homemade baked goods, enjoy Earl’s BBQ, drop off an unwrapped toy to the booth of the Dowagiac Fire Department for Toys for Tots and have their photo taken within a life-size snow globe.

Phillipson said a horse-drawn wagon will shuttle families from the downtown to the Dowagiac Area History Museum, where they can view the 40-year vintage Santa collection of the late Jane Anderson. At Bow Wow Bakery and Bath, pet owners can have a holiday photo taken by Blue Print Photography.  There will also be an interactive children’s workshop with Mrs. Claus at the new Venue 132, adjacent to Wood Fire Italian Trattoria.

In conjunction with Open House Saturday, Theta Mu Sorority will hold its 24th annual craft show at Dowagiac Middle School from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Downtown, the Ladies Library Association will hold its holiday book sale at Dowagiac District Library from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Open House Weekend, which kicks off at specialty shops across the community on Friday, Nov. 12, is one of four holiday events hosted by the Chamber and corporate sponsors.  Others include Small Business Saturday; the 100-unit Candle-light Christmas Parade on Friday, Dec. 3; and Breakfast with Santa at the Elks Lodge on Saturday, Dec. 11.  New this year, specialty shops are extending their hours on Thursdays in December until 7 p.m.

Along with Ascension Borgess-Lee Hospital, corporate sponsors of the holiday celebration are: the Business Center of Southwest Michigan, Cass County Council on Aging, Clark Chapel / Starks Family Funeral Homes, Deck the Halls, Dowagiac Area History Museum, Dowagiac Credit Union, Dowagiac Family Dentistry, Imperial Furniture, John Vylonis, Matthew V. Cripe DDS, Southwest Vision Center, The Baker’s Rhapsody and The Timbers of Cass County.

To register for the Candle-light Parade or to receive a Christmas brochure, detailing the activities, call (269) 782-8212 or email