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Mills to host traditional Christmas program Dec. 3

Tradition and the true meaning of Christmas are behind this Thursday's (Dec. 3) Community Christmas Program at City Hall.

Under the direction of Rachel Eklund and Helen Salo, along with other volunteers, the old-time program is intended to put "Christ back in Christmas," as Eklund has stated numerous times.

The program starts at 7 p.m. and will feature Mary and Joseph, and the traditional Bethlehem cast of characters like Baby Jesus, the Three Wise Men, and others.

The idea behind the program is to bring back the true meaning of Christmas. Last year, an estimated 250-300 people filled the City Hall Ballroom to take part in the program.

Santa will arrive in NY Mills at 8 p.m. to visit with children.

The City Hall Ballroom is filled with decorated trees set up and donated by various individuals, businesses, civic groups, and organizations.

Tree viewing continues through Saturday-opening at noon each day.

The Christmas Festival closes with the Community Christmas Party on Saturday, Dec. 5. The festival is open 12 noon to 7 p.m., and 9-10 p.m. Social hour for the party is at 6 p.m., with dinner at 7 p.m. A dance will follow dinner with live music by the band Sapphire. Tickets to the Community Christmas Party are still available.

Admission to the festival is free and a donation to the NY Mills Area Food Shelf is encouraged. Silent auction proceeds benefit Santa Anonymous. The auction closes at 10 p.m. on Saturday during the Community Christmas Party.

Over $1,300 was raised last year at the tree and wreath auction for Santa Anonymous, and another $226 was collected from free-will donations throughout the week.