MAROA — Organizers of Christmas in Maroa activities are hoping to help those living in or visiting town get ready for the holidays.

Activities to support the Fall in Love With Maroa community enhancement effort are planned throughout the weekend, beginning from 5 to 7 p.m. today with the town’s first ever Festival of Trees.

“We want to put families in the Christmas spirit and get them feeling really good,” said Brenda Zombro, co-owner of The Fireplace, who is helping to organize the event. “Anyone and everyone can come out to kick off the holiday season.”

Residents are donating decorated wreaths and trees to display in the Old Grade School gym at 120 S. Locust St., which also will be part of a silent auction, Zombro said. No admission will be charged, but Zombro said they’re asking attendees to bring a canned or dried food item for Maroa’s Community Pantry.

The Festival of Trees continues from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

“The gym will be a winter wonderland,” Zombro said. “We want to give everyone a chance to experience it. Then we can decide if we should repeat it next year. We’re excited about all the events.”

The Maroa United Methodist Church has traditionally hosted a Christmas store on the first weekend in December, so Zombro said event organizers decided to expand activities around that. The Christmas store runs from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the church, 109 S. Walnut St. The Fireplace at 109 E. Main St. will host lunch with Santa from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for children from Maroa.

Additional activities on Saturday include Main Street Café hosting an all you can eat chili and vegetable soup dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults, $3 for children 3 to 10 years old and free for those 2 and younger. A portion of the profit from ticket sales will go to benefit Fall in Love With Maroa efforts.

A Tour of Homes event is being brought back to town from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The tour features 10 stops, including Victorian-style and newer homes, the town’s three churches, The Fireplace and Festival of Trees. Zombro said the tour could help spark decorating ideas for attendees in their own homes.

“Each one in the tour has something special to offer to those looking to kick off their Christmas season,” Zombro said.

Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 the day of the tour. A drawing will be held following the tour at 5:30 p.m. Sunday for participants to receive a $100 gift card for gasoline.

More information on all the activities is available on the Fall in Love With Maroa’s Facebook page.

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