GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. " Fruita's annual Hometown Christmas takes place Saturday leading up to the Parade of Lights at 5 p.m.
And then, "when you get cold, come and have chili," said Fruita Lioness Pearl Monson.
The Lioness chili supper is an opportunity for a homemade meal at a great price, while serving a good cause.
Each year the Lioness Club hosts an all-you-can-eat chili dinner during Fruita's Hometown Christmas, the proceeds of which benefit Lower Valley families. The supper takes place from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the Police Department's community room, 101 W. McCune Ave.
The club meets each year with staff members from Fruita and Loma elementary schools to identify families in need. The Lionesses buy gifts and food for children from one family from each school.
The dinner includes "good, old homemade chili" and cornbread, vegetables, drinks and cake for desert, Monson said.
"All the members bake three cakes to take, and we cut them and put them out and people can pick and choose what they want," she added.
And there's also onions and cheese, "all the fixin's for chili," plus corn chips for those who want a Frito pie, she added.
The price is $4 for adults, $2 for kids 6-12 and children under 6 eat for free.
"It's the best deal in town," Monson said.
About 400 people usually come to the chili dinner.
Other Hometown Christmas events include:
- More than 15 vendors will sell their wares at a Holiday Emporium from 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at the old Fruita Brewhouse, 127 E. Aspen. (Doohickeys and Dinosaurs is now located in a section of the building). Some of the vendors include Vicky's Candles, Canyon Spirit Soaps, The Apple Lady (who makes fancy candy apples) and the Moose Lady (who creates centerpieces and wreaths).
- From 2-5 p.m. kids can get their pictures taken with Santa for free at 127 E. Aspen. The Rotary Club is requesting cans of food for its food drive.
- Christmas music old and new will be performed at the Fruita Methodist Church, 405 E. Aspen Ave., at 4 p.m.
- At 1 p.m. people can bring pies to 127 E. Aspen for a pie-baking contest.
- Kids can enter a coloring contest for a chance to win a free pizza party from Domino's Pizza. Contest sheets are available at schools and at Domino's. Submissions must be dropped off at Domino's by 1 p.m. Saturday.
- The Girl Scouts of Chipeta Council will decorate the Mitten Tree at the Fruita Civic Center with donated mittens, scarves and gloves to later be given to children who need them. Donations to the Mitten Tree will be accepted from 2-4 p.m.
Also, many Fruita businesses will stay open later Saturday for people who wish to shop before or after the parade.