The Sorghum Valley Christmas Village celebrated opening night Thursday with hundreds of local community members and out-of-town guests attending.
State Gazette photos/ Brandon Hutcheson
Though temperatures hovered in the upper 30s Thursday evening, it did not impede community members and those from surrounding areas from enjoying the opening night of the Sorghum Valley Christmas Village at the Dyer County Fairgrounds. The event celebrates its 11th year in 2018.
Attendees enjoyed a variety of treats such as popcorn provided by First Citizens National Bank (above), hot chocolate from Security Bank (below), hot apple cider from C&C Pharmacy, hot dogs and drinks from local Boy Scouts, as well as candy and s’mores passed out by Sorghum Valley volunteers.
In lieu of admission, event coordinators asked attendees to bring donated items such as canned foods, eyeglasses, hearing aids, books, coats, blankets, new toys, and pet foods for families in need as well as local charities.
Officially opening at 6 p.m., visitors made their way around Sorghum Valley while taking in the scenery.
Once entering the village, individuals were transported back in time to the late 1800s, where they experienced an old-time Christmas season. The small village was alive with holiday spirit showcasing festive lighting and various re-enactments and displays such as old-time weaving and spinning of yarns as well as scarf making.
Old-time spinning and weaving (above) and a live nativity scene (below) were highlights of the evening.
Those in attendance also enjoyed a variety of goodies.
First Citizens National Bank provided popcorn, Security Bank passed out hot chocolate, and Sorghum Valley offered hot and gooey s’mores, all free of charge. Local Boy Scouts were also on hand selling hot dogs and drinks for $1. New this year, C&C Pharmacy offered hot apple cider and provided a wishing tree.
While enjoying the sights and treats, Christmas music could be heard throughout the village. Live music was also performed inside the village’s chapel.
Occupying the Sorghum Valley schoolhouse, the Dyer County High School FCCLA club read Christmas stories. The group also provided a craft station outside of the schoolhouse and held a drawing for a goody basket.
The winning Christmas Cards in the Sorghum Valley Christmas card contest were Dyersburg High School (above; Best in Show) and Fifth Consolidated Elementary (Award of Merit; below).
One of the most popular attractions was the live nativity scene, where many of those in attendance gathered around to watch the re-enactment of the birth of Christ.
Keeping with tradition, Sorghum Valley also held the annual Christmas card and tree decorating contests.
Dyer County and Dyersburg City Schools were given an opportunity submit a 4x4 Christmas card hand painted by students. Also, a total of 55 Christmas trees, decorated by several community organizations and industries, lined the walkway of the village for those attending to view.
The Christmas cards and trees were judged and winners are as follows:
Best of Show – Dyersburg High School
Award of Merit – Fifth Consolidated Elementary School
The overall winner for the Christmas tree decorating contest was the 412 General Store.
Best in Show – 412 General Store
Award of Merit – Dyersburg Manor
Award of Merit – Colonial/ Hexpol
Award of Merit - Dyersburg First Methodist Church
Award of Merit – Dyer County Recycles
Award of Merit - Dyer County High School FFA
Sorghum Valley also hosted two very special guests. Squeezing in time from his busy holiday schedule, Santa Claus, along with Mrs. Claus, took time to visit with those in attendance, much to the delight of the children. Boys and girls waited their turn to share with Santa their Christmas wish lists and take photos with the Claus.
Sorghum Valley Christmas Village event coordinator Aleece Jackson stated, “I appreciate the volunteers. We have a lot of community help from scout troops, the schools, and community industries and businesses. I want to thank Colonial/ Hexpol for their guys every year helping park cars and volunteering where needed. Everybody works together to give back to the community. It’s about being friendly and Christ-like. We greatly thank the community for their support.”
The Sorghum Valley Christmas Village will continue Friday and Saturday evenings from 6-9 p.m. Those who plan to attend are encouraged to bring donated items to the fairground’s 4-H barn, located to the left of the Sorghum Valley entrance.