It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Spring Valley as local volunteers are just about ready for their annual Christmas on Historic Broadway celebration, slated for Saturday, Dec. 14.

"Preparations for this event start in late September - at that time, I start lining up parade units. Some people look at me pretty funny when I bring up the subject that early, but time marches on," said Rita Hartert, organizer of Spring Valley's eighth annual Brave Community Theatre (BCT) Christmas on Historic Broadway celebration, slated for Saturday, Dec. 14, with a Sunday "blizzard date" in case the weather isn't as jolly as the people who gather at the Spring Valley Community Center to get in the Christmas spirit.

The festival features a bake sale, lighted parade, visits and supper with Santa, a concert given by the Root River Revelers, a purse sale, a children's Christmas play and a book signing by a Spring Valley native author. Most activities will be held at the Community Center, and the evening parade will go through downtown on Broadway Avenue.

The day begins at 8:30 a.m. with Sam and Gloria Blakeslee's annual bake sale at the community center to benefit research efforts to find better treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which ended their son Wes's life before he was ready to surrender. Mark Reps's book signing at the Spring Valley Public Library is at 10 a.m. - with a discussion set for 12:15 p.m. The purse sale at the community center is from noon to 6 p.m. - with proceeds supporting the 2014 Kingsland High School prom. Free performances of BCT's play, "A Recycled Christmas" are at 1:30 and 3 p.m. The Root River Revelers will be in concert on the community center stage at 4 p.m. Santa holds court during "Supper with Santa" from 4 to 6 p.m. The parade begins at 6 p.m., complete with the fire department, area churches and camps, music and so many Christmas lights.

Hartert invites anyone who enjoys a little Christmas cheer to join the celebration.

"This is a great weekend for families because there are limited driving and expenses involved. All the action is right here in town," she said. "Children can visit with Santa without driving miles and standing in long lines, and supper is free, or a donation may be given. It is most rewarding to see the community center completely filled with various activities and people of all ages visiting while eating supper. It's also great to see the community turn out to watch our parade, which, I believe, is the only light parade in the area."

She expressed her gratitude to those who have lent their dedication to the organization of Christmas on Historic Broadway. "I truly appreciate all the cooperation from community members. First State Bank prepares and serves the supper, the Kingsland students are involved in the parade, and Key Club members help Santa. Each unit in the parade requires advance work from the entrant, and people such as Mark Marburger, Mike Zimmer and Bob Tieffenbacher, Todd Jones, Jayson Smith and deputy Tim Rasmussen continue to donate their services each year. Besides that, members from the Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, Brave Community Theatre, and the Root River Revelers - under the direction of Maria Klingsheim, also contribute.

"It's the old saying, 'It takes a 'village,' in this case, Spring Valley, to make something magical happen."