Saturday’s Fenton Jinglefest will be a real blast — literally — with a new fireworks finale.
“We’re excited about the fireworks,” said Shelly, Day, Fenton Regional Chamber of Commerce president.
The fireworks finale will be very short, at 8-10 minutes, but the chamber hopes to raise more money for future, bigger shows, Day said. The cost for this year’s eight-minute finale is $2,000.
People can see them right after the Christmas parade, which begins at 6 p.m. Dec. 1. The fireworks will be visible over the Fenton Community & Cultural Center.
In addition, many Jinglefest activities begin at a new time, 3 p.m. on Dec. 1, Day said. These include the return of horse-drawn wagon rides downtown, courtesy of Caretel Inns of Linden. And there will be children’s crafts, games and live reindeer at the Fenton United Methodist Church.
On the front lawn of the community center, also at 3 p.m., Santa’s Entertainment Tent will feature children’s rock bands from A Joyful Noise. Several different kids’ bands will play during the day, she said.
Civic groups will have refreshments available for purchase in front of the Fenton Community & Cultural Center, to earn funds to support their projects, Day said. The Fenton Kiwanis Club will have hot chocolate and s’mores, while Boy Scout Troop 212 will have chili and hot dogs. The Mom to Mom group will have a baked goods sale.
Caretel Inns of Linden will have cupcake decorating, and Animal Health Clinic will have Santa Paws’ Pictures with Santa for pets and their owners.
Also beginning at 3 p.m. will be ice sculpture carving at Fenton City Hall.
In addition, the chamber of commerce is sponsoring a drawing for a total of $500 in gift cards from local businesses. To enter, Day said people can visit the chamber’s tent at Jinglefest, from 3-6 p.m. For each shopping receipt totaling $10 or more, from a business with a Fenton or Linden mailing address, participants receive one entry form for the drawing. The chamber’s tent will be located between the Fenton Community & Cultural Center and Dibbleville, with signs on it, she said.
The lighted Christmas parade begins at 6 p.m.
“It’s always a huge hit,” Day said.
Participants still have time to enter the parade, for a $10 fee that helps support the event, she said. The chamber began charging a fee for parade entries last year, to help with costs. Parade registration can be done online at the chamber’s website or in person at the chamber office, 114 Leroy St.
The Youth Advisory Committee is helping with luminaries this year, she said. They will prepare the bags with sand and candles, and businesses can obtain them for 25 cents each. At 5:30 p.m. Saturday, everyone is asked to light their luminaries. They hope to get luminaries all the way down Leroy Street, Day said.
Parade-goers can warm up with hot chocolate from the at Fenton City Hall. The Fenton Beautification Commission also will have Pictures with Santa and refreshments in the Fenton Community & Cultural Center when Santa completes the lighted parade route.
Christmas caroling also will be featured, along with the lighting of the Christmas tree at the community center after the parade. Mayor Sue Osborn and Santa Claus will perform the tree lighting.
Fenton City Councilwoman Pat Lockwood, who is assisting with Jinglefest, said at the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) meeting that the Fenton Village Players will be dressed in Dickens garb for Jinglefest.
Earlier Saturday events
The Fenton United Methodist Church will have its Cookie Walk at 9 a.m. And Fenton merchants will have Christmas shopping and open houses at 10 a.m.
In addition, the Fenton Rotary will have its Christmas tree decorating at the Rotary Park on North Leroy Street, across from Dewey’s auto center at 10 a.m.
The Mott Middle School Steel Drum band will perform in Dibbleville from 2-6 p.m.
The main event sponsor for this year’s Jinglefest is Hartland Insurance. Southern Lakes Parks & Recreation and the city of Fenton also are helping the Fenton Regional Chamber of Commerce with the event, Day said.
DDA Director Michael Burns said the DDA approved $5,000 from its budget for Jinglefest. Of this, $1,100 is for the rental of the Fenton Community & Cultural Center. And $500 will pay Southern Lakes Parks & Recreation (SLPR) fees, with $3,400 for advertising. Because costs were about $900 less than budgeted, the DDA was able to provide funding to SLPR for the fireworks finale.