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AROUND THE HILL COUNTRY

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Thursday, Dec. 12 Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day will be held on the grounds of St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Bandera and in St. Joseph’s Hall at Cedar and 7th streets to celebrate the appearance of the Virgin of Guadalupe to indigenous Indian Juan Diego in Mexico in 1531. A religious service will begin the celebration at 5 a.m. before a grotto dedication, the Matachines Dance, a Mass and other events are held beginning at 5:30 p.m. St. Stanislaus is at 311 7th St.

A Bandera Songwriter Project featuring 13 area songwriters and bands will take place at the Bandera Ale Project from 6-9 p.m. The ale project and brewery is located at 3540 Highway 16 South outside Bandera.

Thursday – Saturday, Dec. 12-14 The Spirits of Christmas Presents will buy and wrap Christmas gifts for children of low-income families in the county on Thursday and Friday and then deliver the gifts to families who have signed up for the assistance on Saturday, Dec. 14. Volunteers dressed as Santa Claus and Christmas elves will load up their gifts at 8 a.m. at the Bandera United Methodist Church, at 1103 Cedar St. in Bandera, and deliver the gifts to families. The charitable event is supported by a variety of organizations and individuals across the county.

Friday, Dec. 13 The St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church Women will hold its 33rd annual Christmas Tasting Tea at the church’s Parish Hall beginning at 11:30 a.m. Salads, desserts, entrees, side dishes and appetizers prepared by members of the St. Christopher’s Parish and by local restaurants will be served at the fundraiser for the church women’s charitable initiatives. Christmas music also will be featured. It costs $10 to attend. For another $10, attendees can purchase a cookbook containing the recipes for dishes served at the tea. The church is at 395 Highway 173 North in Bandera.

A Christmas Opry benefitting the Meals on Wheels program in Bandera County will be put on by the Western Heritage Cowboy Church at the Silver Sage center in Bandera, 803 Buck Creek Dr. Admission is $10 plus a bag of dog or cat food or a jar of peanut butter. The show starts at 7 p.m. Call 830-796-4969 for reserved seating.

Saturday, Dec. 14 The annual Singing in the Saddle Christmas caroling event will begin at 1 p.m. in downtown Bandera. It sends singers, guitar players and other musicians out to the two senior centers in Bandera on horseback and riding in wagons or carriages to raise spirits with Christmas carols. Carolers also will entertain at different spots along Main Street before returning to the area near the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bandera County to disband. Singers also will gather at the Boys & Girls Clubs location, at the corner of 8th and Maple streets in Bandera.

An event called Carols, Kids & Crafts sponsored by the Pipe Creek Community Church will take church members and other residents to the Bandera Nursing & Rehabilitation Center where they will sing Christmas carols, before returning to the church for a message from the pastor, a pizza dinner and time to decorate Gingerbread Houses, which will be sent home with participants as gifts. Other prizes also will be given away at the free event which starts at 3:30 p.m. The church is at 289 Racquet Club Dr.

Sunday, Dec. 15 The Medina community will hold its annual Christmas Celebration with Christmas carols and the lighting of the community Christmas tree at 4 p.m. on Highway 16 in downtown Medina, followed by a celebration at the Medina Community Library, where winners of the annual Christmas Baking Contest and an Ugly Christmas Shirt Contest will be announced and Santa will stop by for a visit before a pot luck meal is put on at the Core Coffee House, at 13971 Highway 16 North. The public is invited to the free event.