EFFINGHAM — The wet and cold weather this past weekend didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of those attending Hometown Christmas.

Children and families gathered at Joe’s Pizza and Pasta on Saturday morning to enjoy not only pizza but have some time with Santa Claus.

Pizza with Santa was one of the new additions to the annual event in downtown Effingham, as well as the Snowball Drop later that afternoon.

A large group of people gathered on Washington Avenue between Third and Fourth streets while volunteers filled a customized leaf blower with more than 600 ping pong balls. The balls had the names of local businesses on them that could be redeemed at the businesses for discounts or prizes.

Niki Miller said she came to Hometown Christmas Saturday to take part in the Snowball Drop, which she thought was neat, and had fun doing it.

The Snowball Drop was among the many attractions Ty Totten and his daughters, Madalyn and Mia, had on their list of things to do during Hometown Christmas. Ice skating and visiting Santa were others.

Hometown Christmas has became an annual tradition for Heidi Lewis and her family. Her daughter Myah Lewis’ favorite things to do at Hometown Christmas are seeing Santa and carriage rides.

Brittany Tucker said the event is something to do together as a family, adding her older kids enjoy all of the activities.

Some of the indoor activities that allowed people to escape the elements included paint and take crafts at Stang Arts, Grinchy craft time and story time at Effingham Public Library, cookie decorating with Kirby Foods IGA, craft make and take with Effingham County Connections and Effingham Recycles and bulb planting with Effingham Master Gardeners.

Crystal Reed can be reached at crystal.reed@effinghamdailynews.com or by phone at 217-347-7151 ext. 131


Crystal Reed is a reporter for the Effingham Daily News, covering towns in the eastern coverage area. She is a graduate of Richland Community College and Eastern Illinois University with degrees in journalism. She is originally from Decatur.

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