Spirit of Christmas

The annual Spirit of Christmas Festival will kick off Friday with the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus at 6 p.m. at the western end of Broad Street, near St. Jerome's parking lot. Santa and Mrs. Claus will then head east, stop at Depot Square Park to flip the magic switch and illuminate the park, then head to the Tamaqua Arts Center, 125 Pine St., to meet with children of all ages.

At the arts center, visitors will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite decorated tree. Tree viewing hours will be Friday, 6-8 p.m.; Saturday. 1 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 1-4 p.m.

Breakfast with Santa will be held on Saturday, at 9 a.m., at the Salvation Army Center, 105 W. Broad St. This event is sponsored by the ESRC and reservations are required. For more information, call 668-2919.

Also on Saturday, Victorian Tea will be "poured" at 2 p.m. at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pine and Mauch Chunk Streets. Entertainment will be provided by Samantha Johnson.

Sunday's activities will include steam train rides at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.; a large craft show and afternoon entertainment at the Salvation Army Center, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Mrs. Claus storytelling time, arts and crafts activities, start at 1 p.m. at the Tamaqua Arts Center.

The festivities will conclude with the Tree Lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. at Depot Square Park. Following the ceremony, free hot chocolate and cookies will be served at the Tamaqua Community Ambulance Station on Railroad Street. At that time, winners of the cookie baking, gingerbread house and tree lighting contests will be revealed.

Angel tree

The Tamaqua Salvation Army Angel Tree program is designed to make the Christmas season brighter for children in need. Angel Trees can be found at numerous businesses as well as the Salvation Army Community Center, 105 W. Broad St.

The trees are hung with tags containing the name, age, gender, clothing size and special Christmas needs/wishes of an individual child. Participants select a tag, then purchase new items based on the tag information. The unwrapped items, along with the tag, should be returned to the Salvation Army no later than Dec. 11. Cash donations are also being accepted.

For more information, or tree locations, call 570-668-0410.

SW Christmas

Due to a number of issues, including vandalism, Santa's annual visit to the South Ward Playground has been canceled this year.

St. Peter's Union

Sunday worship services are held at 9 a.m. in St. Peter's Union Church, Mantzville. This Sunday's service will include a Joyous Noise Offering, followed by a congregational meeting. Sunday school classes will meet at 10:15 a.m.

Also on Sunday, the Confirmation class will meet at 11:30 a.m., Cub Scout Christmas celebration begins at 5 p.m. and Daisies and Brownies will meet at 6 p.m.

Activities for next week will include: Monday, bell choir rehearsal at 7 p.m.; Tuesday, music and worship committee meets at 6 p.m.; Wednesday, retirees meet at 10 a.m., junior choir rehearsal at 7 p.m., senior choir practices at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, prayer group meets at 4:45 p.m.; Saturday, Clamtown Cub Scouts Christmas celebration at noon.

St. John UCC

The Sunday Worship activities at St. John Church of Christ are held at 9:30 a.m. A time of food and fellowship follows the service. Sunday school begins at 11 a.m. The weekly radio broadcast airs at 11:30 a.m. on WLSH radio station 1410 AM.

Also this Sunday, a congregational meeting will be held at 10:30 a.m.

Church activities for next week include: Wednesday, choir rehearsal at 7:30 p.m.