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China Grove to host annual Christmas celebration Saturday

CHINA GROVE — The town will host its fifth-annual Christmas in the Grove event along Main Street and Swink Street from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.

The Christmas celebration will feature sledding on Swink Street, with snow blown in on the hill beside the police department. Attendees are asked to bring their own sleds. Only plastic sleds are allowed — no metal sleds.

Attendees are asked to leave their pets at home, too. The use of tobacco products will be prohibited.

Guests will also have the chance to partake in face painting, roasted marshmallows, s’mores, hot chocolate, a petting zoo, horse-drawn wagon rides, ornament making, cookie decorating, hot dogs and drinks available for purchase. Attendees can also warm up by firepits.

“This is a very exciting event. This started years ago and keeps growing every year. It’s amazing how the word gets out and how everyone has such a great time,” Town Manager Ken Deal said. “This event started off with just a horse-and-carriage ride through town and it has now evolved to this.”

Deal said that the town is “planning on proceeding with the event regardless of the weather.”

In the event of inclement weather, the town would reschedule sledding for a later date.

“I’m looking forward to everyone being safe, enjoying themselves and having a good time,” Deal said.

Christmas in the Grove will also include caroling on the front porch of the China Grove Roller Mill. The group of carolers include a number of nearby churches, high schools and elementary schools. Caroling will be from 5-8 p.m.

Kids of all ages will be able to visit Santa Claus in Hanna Park.

There will be ornament making on Swink Street and cookie decorating at the China Grove Roller Mill.

Organ students from the studio of Dr. Timothy Olsen, of the UNC School of the Arts and Salem College, will give two concerts in the sanctuary of Saint Mark’s Lutheran Church in China Grove at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. They will also perform on the church’s two manual, 21 rank, C.B. Fisk, Opus 143 organ, which was installed in 2012.

Event Coordinator Patti Price said that the event will have characters such as the Grinch, Beauty and the Beast, Captain Marve, and Spiderman. Price said that downtown shops and restaurants will be open late.

Story time by Mrs. Claus will be held at the China Grove Roller Mill from 6-7:30 p.m.

Guests are urged to travel slow and proceed with caution while traveling along Main Street and to be advised that Swink Street in China Grove will be closed for Christmas in the Grove.

There will be no cost for admission. Though attendees must pay for the purchase of hot dogs, drinks and hot chocolate.

For more information about Christmas in the Grove, contact the town of China Grove at 704-857-2466.

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