Windham is celebrating with its annual Parade of Lights and Polar Express this Sunday. Festivities will start with an opening program by the Windham Community Church Fellowship at the Community Center at 4 p.m. Local Windham churches will be participating and there will be special music and holiday songs.

The parade will line up at 5:30 p.m. at Dollar General. The parade will start at 6 p.m. and travel down Main Street and Center Street to the Community Center. A Lighting of the Greens will be immediately after the parade.

There will be opportunities to make Christmas ornaments. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served. Polar Express rides will begin at 6:30 p.m. and continue until 9:30 p.m. Santa will visit from 7 to 8:30 p.m. While he visits, Mrs. Claus will be reading stories to the children. All events are free.

Please bring a can of food to help supply the local food pantry. All children will receive a "Golden ticket" to ride the Polar Express Train upon entering the Community Center. This will be a fun opportunity to celebrate Christmas in our community!

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Breakfast With Santa will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 9. It is provided at the Renaissance Family Center by the Windham United Methodist Church. It is open to children age 12 and under. Free photos with Santa will be offered plus a great breakfast. There will also be coloring.

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The Congregational Church’s Free Lunch will be held at the Brick Chapel on Saturday. Kim Kiser is making her famous sausage gravy and biscuits that people have been requesting. This month’s free movie is "It’s a Wonderful Life" with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed.

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This weekend will be very busy! The police department is having its annual Fill a Cruiser event at the Dollar General from 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 9. Last year’s photo showed the cruiser full of gifts for children. Another activity is the Platinum Dance Companies Christmas Spectacular! The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the program starts at 7 p.m. Come support these great youth! Cost is $6 for adults and free for children 6 and younger.

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There will be a kids’ Christmas Party at the Church of Christ on Dec. 16 that sounds like a lot of fun. Children may have their photo taken with Santa at no cost. The photos will be printed at the party and they can take the photos home with them. Children will get to decorate Christmas cookies and cupcakes. The "VeggieTales" movie "The Toys that Saved Christmas" will be shown on their huge screen and there will be free popcorn. The church is located at 9837 Wolfe Road in Windham.

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The high school will have its joint holiday concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 20. It will feature the band plus both the junior and senior high school choirs. Please go and show your support!

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The Windham United Methodist Church is having a Blue Christmas Celebration at 7 p.m. Dec.22. Blue Christmas services offer special recognition of the struggles that many people face during this Christmas season.

The United Methodist Church will celebrate Christmas Eve at both a 10 a.m. service and a candlelight 7 p.m. service. The Congregational United Church of Christ will also observe Christmas Eve at its 10 a.m. service and a candlelight 7 p.m. service, also. All are welcome at both churches.

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Select students in grades eight through 12 are involved in an engineering challenge with NASA. The challenge is called "Gaining Traction on Mars" and will be a series of investigations regarding the Mars Rover. Students’ final project will involve 3D printing wheels for the Mars Rover. Students will work in teams to identify a problem, seek solutions, build and test prototypes, and reach a final solution for a new wheel design for the Mars Rover. This is a competition between about 15 schools.

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The Lions Club will resume its pancake breakfasts on Jan. 7 at the Brick Chapel, 9093 N. Main St. Please go and support them. They provide many things for the community. The spaghetti dinners sponsored by the United Methodist Church will also resume in January.

Thanks to those who supplied information for this month’s column. It is greatly appreciated.

Merry Christmas!

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Contact Ann Taft at stamper_82@yahoo.com or 330-326-3133 with your Windham news.