By Natalie Conrad
Herald Staff Writer
FULTON, Ill. —
Early American Crafters will be celebrating the holiday spirit this weekend with their annual Christmas Walk at Heritage Canyon.
The special event that has been going on for more than 25 years celebrates Christmas memories of years past and the traditions instilled by Heritage Canyon founder Harold Wierenga.
“Harold always said this was a time to give back and we like to keep that going,” Early American Crafter Linda Dykstra said.
Heritage Canyon, 515 N. Fifth St., will hold its annual Christmas walk and illuminated walk this Saturday. Early American Crafters will don their traditional costumes for the walk from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the illuminated walk from 6 to 8 p.m.
Each crafter will reflect on their favorite Christmas memories during the memorial illuminated walk for this year’s theme. At night, the canyon is completely lighted with lanterns. The only thing missing is a certain Christmas accessory.
“It would be nice to have a dusting of snow, but we would be happy either way,” Dykstra said.
This year the city of Fulton and Unity Christian School will provide a free shuttle service for the illuminated walk at Heritage Canyon. The shuttle will run every 15 minutes from 6 to 8 p.m. The last pickup from Heritage Canyon will be at 8 p.m. Those wishing to use the shuttle may park near the windmill area at the corner of First Street and 10th Avenue.
Visitors can enjoy the fully decorated town, listen to music in the beautiful village Church and hear carolers throughout the Canyon. Complimentary cookies and drinks and the chance to win Canyon ornaments will all be offered at the Town Hall. The General Store will be serving lunch and warm drinks. Also at the store, annual ornaments, cookbooks, sweatshirts and more will be sold.
Santa will be staying at Heritage Canyon throughout the festivities during the day and at night at Town Hall. The event is free, but donations are welcome. This holiday festival is as much fun for visitors as it is for the generations of crafters.
“It’s exciting for the kids and they get to learn new things,” Crafter Donna Smith said. “They learn all the different uses for things that they never knew existed.”
Crafters are restructuring after the first of the year, making it a good time for new members to join the group. Meetings are held once a month and the crafters put on events each year. Currently the group is in need of a blacksmith, singers and a shoemaker. All are welcome to join and costumes are provided.