Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Christmas in the Air returns

EAA grounds welcomes the Celebration of Lights
Courtesy of Jim Koepnick Photography – The EAA grounds welcome the Celebration of Lights event to their grounds this year for the community to experience.

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is holding its annual Christmas in the Air celebration this Saturday, featuring different activities to kick off the holiday season. 

The free event welcomes all community members into the EAA Aviation Museum, 3000 Poberezny Road, which has been decorated to ring in the Christmas season with lights, trees and more.

The event includes the staple of Santa flying in via helicopter on the grounds. 

Drew Stephani, EAA communications specialist, said there is plenty of holiday fun for everyone attending.

“We have a full day of activities for families to enjoy including holiday-themed arts and crafts, Santa’s Sleigh Design Challenge and treats at the Sweet Shoppe,” he said. “The main attraction will be at noon when Santa arrives by helicopter (weather permitting).”

Santa’s arrival is planned by a team at EAA to make sure the landing and arrival go smoothly.

“Our Aircraft Operations team does an excellent job coordinating Santa’s arrival every year,” Stephani said. “They keep a close eye on the weather leading up to the event to ensure the flight can be done safely.”

Along with this, other activities include: 

  • Pictures with Santa
  • Letters to Santa
  • Holiday-themed arts and crafts
  • Santa’s Sleigh Design Challenge
  • Cookies, cupcakes and milk at the Sweet Shoppe

Santa’s Sleigh Design Challenge is new this year, and Stephani said it is a great educational addition. 

“Children will be tasked with designing a sleigh to help carry Santa and his bag safely down a zip line,” Stephani said. “This educational activity will allow kids to express their creativity while also learning some basic science along the way.”

Along with the activities mentioned above, there are also performances from area musicians. 

“Many different music, choral and dance groups from the surrounding area will be performing at different locations throughout the museum, helping showcase some of the wonderful talents within our community,” Stephani said. 

The full list of performers include:

  • Fox Valley Chorus
  • It’s About Time quartet
  • Julie’s Touch of Silver
  • Lomira Concert Choir
  • Lourdes Madrigals
  • Oshkosh North Madrigals
  • Oshkosh West Madrigals
  • Polka Dots
  • Valley Christian High School Choir

Christmas in the Air is a team effort from everyone at EAA, Stephani said.

“Putting this event together every year is a team effort involving almost every department within our organization and an outstanding group of volunteers,” he said. “All of these areas working together effectively is what makes this one of the most fun holiday events in the Fox Cities.”

The event is held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and there will be a place for donations of unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots and non-perishable food items for Father Carr’s Place 2B.

Along with this event at EAA, the Oshkosh Celebration of Lights is also taking place on the EAA grounds at 1858 Neunteufel Ave. 

“The Oshkosh Celebration of Lights team approached us after learning it would not be possible to host the event at Menominee Park as they have in years past,” Stephani said. 

The park is unavailable due to an archeological excavation taking place. 

“A road resurfacing project in the park had to be delayed because archaeologists unearthed a Native American village,” Stephani said. “This left very little of the traditional Celebration of Lights path available.”

Stephani said he hopes everyone is able to come and experience the celebration at its new location.

“We were happy to lend a helping hand to keep the long-standing tradition alive this year,” he said. “We look forward to everyone being able to experience the lights, the 5k run and our grounds in a new way.”

The Celebration of Lights opened on Nov. 24 and runs daily from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. through Dec. 31.  Admission is $20 per carload with $5 off with a donation of a sealed hygiene product or multiple food items. Community Nights offer free admission, with a sealed hygiene or food item appreciated. Remaining community nights will be held Dec. 3, 5, 10, 12, 14 and  21.

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