Sit on Santa's lap, hear tuba players and more in Gering on Saturday

Nash Danielzuk chats with Santa Claus at Santa's Village in Gering in 2018. Santa's Village will officially open on Saturday morning, with Christmas in the Plaza set for Saturday evening.

For some, Christmas can be stressful. Why not take it out on a gingerbread house?

A gingerbread demolition, called Wreck It to Raise It, will be one of many activities at the Gering Civic Plaza this Saturday at 5-7 p.m. for Christmas in the Plaza.

Wreck It to Raise it, a fundraiser for the Historic Midwest Theater, will allow attendees to participate in choosing the method of destruction.

“Eaten by a snowblower, dropped from a bucket truck, sliced by a chainsaw or torched with a blow torch — monetary votes will decide how the inevitable destruction of the gingerbread house will occur,” said Annie Folck, city engineer.

Folck said there will also be an option to “save” the gingerbread house from getting wrecked. The demolition will take place around 6:45 p.m. in the plaza.

The Christmas in the Plaza events kick off with a tree lighting ceremony, and will include live entertainment by DJ Edward Salazar. There will also be a special performance of “Fa La La La...Tubas” which will feature former Gering High School Band member Matt Eckerberg and members of the University of Wyoming Marching Band playing Christmas classics with tubas.

Santa’s Sleigh will be giving horse-drawn hay rack rides around the Plaza and the Gering Fire Department will be there with a decked-out fire engine and children will have the chance to take pictures with Santa.

“Christmas holidays are the times when we reflect on the many blessings of our family and our community,” said Karla Niedan-Streeks, executive director of the Gering Visitors Bureau. “Celebrations like Christmas in the Plaza bring residents together to enjoy some holiday activities and events, share stories and create some new holiday memories.”

The event will feature a pop-up shop by Prairie Pines Quilt Shop, giving people a chance to knock out some holiday shopping and The Mixing Bowl Bakery and Café and Get Roasted Coffee will have cocoa, coffee and other hot beverages available for purchase. Additionally, there will be food trucks on site including Rosita’s, Pineapple Express and Nebraska Big Red Popcorn.

Aside from purchasing food, the event is free.

Niedan-Streeks said that the celebration is the perfect way to kick off what she hopes will be year-round programming at the Plaza.

She said the Plaza is more than just a place to eat or relax — it is meant to give residents a “sense of place” in the community.

“Our goal for the new Plaza has always been to create that sense of place for our residents and our visitors, and Christmas in the Plaza is the first of many events that will engage everyone in the beauty and uniqueness of Gering’s new Plaza year round,” said Niedan-Streeks.

Prior to Christmas in the Plaza, the official opening of Santa’s Village in downtown Gering will take place from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The Scottsbluff Holiday Parade will take place on Sunday at 6 p.m. in downtown Scottsbluff.

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

Kamie Stephen is a reporter with the Star-Herald. She can be reached at 308-632-9041 or via email at

Kamie Stephen is a reporter with the Star-Herald. She can be reached at 308-632-9041 or via email at

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