ASHLAND — Christmas Night in Ashland, celebrated annually on the first Friday of December, will be held Friday, Dec. 6. The family event is coordinated by the Community Council. The 2019 celebration will include pictures with Santa Claus, a storybook giveaway for children, Christmas music, children's workshops, a scavenger hunt, hay rides, free popcorn and cotton candy, food sales, meals, face painting, games for kids, a model train display, a craft fair, an historical photo display, the making of Christmas ornaments and cards for veterans, a reading of "The Elf on the Shelf," a gift bag raffle to benefit the local food pantry, free raffles, carolers, and the lighting of the town Christmas tree. Most events will take place between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m on Main and Highland streets.
The Friends of the Ashland Town Library will sponsor pictures with Santa at the library, 41 Main St. The Friends will take one picture of each family for free, and additional pictures are $1 each. Families may also take their own pictures. Also in the library, the Pond and Peak Reading Council will give away books to children.
The American Legion Hall at 37 Main St. is the site of a craft fair from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Paul Hubert will play from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The 150th Ashland Railroad Station Anniversary Committee will sell anniversary souvenirs. Local residents can sign up for the Deck the House Christmas Decorating Contest, sponsored by Elaine Hughes Realty Group. The Dupuis-Cross Post of the American Legion will provide the opportunity to make ornaments and cards for Veterans living in the New Hampshire Veterans Home. The Post will sell cookies, hot chocolate, tea and coffee.
The Ashland Area Recreation Association will serve free popcorn in Memorial Park. Meredith Village Savings Bank will hold a free Christmas ornament workshop for children.
Next to the bank, the Ashland Community Center at 12 Highland St. will have a Cookie Walk with cans of home made cookies for $3, and Santa's Gift Bag Raffle to benefit the Ashland Food Pantry. Raffle tickets are 25 cents, available Thursday, Dec. 5, noon-6 p.m., and Friday, Dec. 6, noon-6:45 p.m. Winning tickets will be drawn at 7 p.m., and winners will be announced at the tree lighting in Memorial Park.
A corn chowder supper to benefit the Ashland Food Pantry will be served at St. Mark's Church, next to the community center. The supper, including chowder, crackers and beverages, costs $4. The church hall will have the Little Ones Workshop, sponsored by the Ashland Parks & Recreation Department, and is the starting point for the scavenger hunt from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Children can bring their completed forms back by 6:30 p.m. for a reading of "The Elf on the Shelf." Ashland children can enter a drawing for a free week in the parks and recreation department's summer camp. The winner will be drawn at 6:45 p.m.
Horse-drawn hay rides will load at the town hall parking lot, 20 Highland St., 5-8 p.m. Donations will be accepted.
At the Cheney House, 82 Highland St., Anthony Hoerter's large Lionel model train display will be open.
Ashland Community Church at 57 Main St. will serve hamburgers, hot dogs, chili, chips, drinks, and cotton candy. Donations can be made to benefit Got Lunch! Children can decorate cookies, have their faces painted, play games and win prizes. There will be a free photo booth and raffles. The Ashland Historical Society will have a display of historical Squam River and Lake photos.
Throughout the evening, the Ashland Reenactors Group, dressed in Victorian era costumes, will be caroling. Christmas Night will end at 8 p.m. in Memorial Park. With the help of Santa Claus, the town Christmas tree will be lit.