December starts with a huge slate of fun from early morning until evening. Some of the highlights are an open house to sample the food at the new Hogadon lodge, a Scandinavian bake sale, a pottery sale, used book sale, Santa’s first appearance downtown, and touring the grounds of Fort Caspar by candlelight. Here is a summary, as provided to the Star-Tribune.

Spectra by Comcast Spectacor, the provider of food services and hospitality at Hogadon Ski Area, invites the public to an open house from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. A variety of food from the Scramble, Cafe and Catering menus will be available for free tastings throughout the day. Tasting items will include biscuits and gravy and mini parfaits, a pizza station, a slider bar, a quesadilla station, and street tacos. A cash bar and coffee bar will also be available.

Casper Local Hoop Shoot is at Casper College T Bird Gym. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and competition begins at 10 a.m. It is free to boys and girls who will be between the ages of 8 and 13 on April 1 and who live in a 50-mile radius around Casper. The event is free and open to the public.

From lefse and kringle to tea rings and stollen, the women of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church will hold their annual Scandinavian Bake Sale. The doors open for this popular holiday tradition at 9 a.m., in the Fellowship Hall (basement) of the church, 318 East 6th Street. This event traditionally sells out, so get there early for the best selection. The funds raised will be used for a variety of projects which have included support for homeless students, scholarships for seminary students, children’s Christmas books for our Adopt-A-Family program, and other help for those in need.

The Cowboy Craft Fair at the Central Wyoming Fairgrounds will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., where you can take care of holiday shopping in one stop. Over 80 vendors, food, entertainment, and prizes. Santa will be there from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Only $1 admission and all proceeds benefit Casper Missionary Alliance. This is the only Vendor Expo that is a party.

First Saturday study at 9 a.m., at Bethel Baptist Church, 3030 S. Poplar, is on the truth about the Christmas/Nativity story. Jesus’ birth has been romanticized, but what really happened, according to scripture? Discover the good, the back and the ugly about the Christmas story.

Grab a bag of books at the Friends’ Winter Bag Sale from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Natrona County Library. Grocery bags of books are $3 each and larger, tote-sized bags of books are $5 each. The sale includes used books at great prices, in all genres and for all age groups. Other items for sale include movies, music, puzzles and magazines. Accepted payment methods include cash, local checks and PayPal, as well as credit and debit cards.

The fifth annual Casper Pottery Tour and Sale is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. This year, the tour includes six well-known potters, Lynn Munns, 6430 Terrace Dr.; Ryan Olsen and Dandee Pattee, 6008 Gothberg Rd.; Phil Smith, 406 S. Beech, and Mike Olson and Amber Battista Olson, 4671 Coates Rd. Meet these potters, learn about their work, and shop for handmade pottery. Visit Facebook at Casper Pottery Tour for more information.

The 12 Days of Christmas is open for its 44th year at 1743 E. Yellowstone Highway. Regular hours will be Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m., through Saturday, Dec. 23. Shop the 30 different artisans and crafters displaying this year.

Any Republican woman, friends and guest (men included), are invited to the Christmas Party, at 10 a.m. at the home of Della Works, 3211 Glacier. Please bring a traditional covered dish, whether brunch, lunch or snack, and an ornament for a white elephant ornament exchange. Membership forms will be available for 2018. Membership is still only $30 and includes state and national memberships.

A collection of nativities is on display in downtown Casper to December 16 at 118 E. Second St., formerly Ayres Jewelry. The display will be open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Mondays from 5 to 8 p.m. Stop by as you do your Christmas shopping, and enjoy this lovely Christmas display that the whole family will enjoy. The display is sponsored by First Christian Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Santa’s Workshop opens downtown in Market Square, 232 E. Second St. Hours are noon to 4 p.m. There will be a Salvation Army Angel tree on site for those who are able to choose a tag and give a gift. All Santa’s Workshop activities are free, with the exception of the fundraiser Dec. 16.

Let the kids have a fun afternoon at the Casper Recreation Center from 1 to 4 p.m. Kids ages 5 to 12 will get into the holiday spirit by painting a pottery ornament or gift, decorating cookies, drinking hot chocolate and playing games. Registration fee is $18 for non-members or $16 for members and includes the pottery piece and snacks. Finished pottery pieces will have to be fired and picked up the following Friday.

The Natrona County Library will host an adult crafting program at 2 p.m. Both Christmas and adult coloring fans can protect their surfaces in style while relaxing and enjoying a bit of cheerful coloring. Library staff will guide participants through the stages of transforming coloring pages into stunning Christmas coasters that are both festive and practical. No experience necessary. All supplies provided at no cost. Call 577-READ x2 for more information.

Bundle up and come to Fort Caspar for all the family-friendly fun at Candlelight Christmas at the fort. Join us between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m., for Casper’s favorite holiday tradition. As always, the event is free and open to all. Walk through the fort buildings, illuminated by candlelight, and meet characters from the past. In the museum, enjoy free hot chocolate and cookies, craft-making activities for the kids, exhibits, holiday shopping, and more. It’s an evening of holiday magic for all ages.

The 3 Hip Band, featuring the Neefer Dude, Birdy and Jim, will play again for your dancing and listening pleasure at the Casper Senior Center from 7 to 10 p.m. Admission is $5 and we welcome all ages. Snacks and refreshments will be served after 8 p.m.

Follow community news editor Sally Ann Shurmur on Twitter @WYOSAS

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Sally Ann Shurmur arrived at the Star-Tribune to cover sports two weeks after graduating from the University of Wyoming and now serves as community news editor. She was raised in Laramie and is a passionate fan of Cowboys football, food and family.

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