Hermann area begins early holiday preps

Hermann area begins early holiday preps

With the approach of Thanksgiving, Hermann and the surrounding area are starting to put on a holiday face for some very special events.

The Hermann Area Chamber of Commerce will once again sponsor the 2021 Christmas Tree Decorating Contest. The contest is open to all ages in three divisions: individual children through age 12, children's groups through age 12, and adult-individual or groups. Decorated trees are due at the chamber office, 150 Market St., by Dec. 17.

All trees will be displayed three weekends: Nov. 20 and 21, Nov. 27 and 28, and Dec. 4 and 5. The trees will be arranged in the upstairs of the chamber office.

Prizes will be awarded in each division: first place, $30; second place, $20; and third place, $10. The winners will be announced at 3 p.m. Nov. 20 at the chamber.

The trees will be donated to local nursing homes and Hermann Area District Hospital for display during the holidays.

Contact the chamber office at 486-2313 for more information.

A kickoff to the holidays will also feature the Sounds of Starkenburg, with two concerts hosted by the historic St. Martin's Church Museum. The free public concerts, always held the Saturday after Thanksgiving, will be given at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Nov. 27. Events were cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Featured will be pipe organist Barry Bierwirth. The pipe organ at St. Martin's is the oldest Pfeffer Pipe Organ west of the Mississippi River. Bierwirth is a Hermann native and has had a major role in the preservation and restoration of the circa 1860 pipe organ at St. Martin's.

Bierwirth will be joined by Melissa Fyr and Tim Garcia of Washington. Fyr is a musician/vocal stylist who has performed in over 25 states. Garcia is a pianist who is very active as a free-lance performer, educator, clinician, and arranger.

Brenna Jones, Grant Bucher, and Colin Jones are new to the vocalist lineup for this year's concerts. Jones is a Hermann High School graduate. Bucher is another Hermann High School graduate who will be performing as a vocalist for the holiday season at Six Flags. Jones is a Hermann High School senior who is active in theater and music.

The six artists will perform music of the Advent and Christmas seasons. There will also be sing-alongs. 

A soup supper will be held between the concerts, from 4 to 6 p.m., in Valentine Hall. Sandwiches and desserts will be offered along with the soup. Fyr and Garcia will perform dinner music.

Free-will donations will be accepted for the museum. Doors open one hour prior to each concert, and seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. The church museum and hall are handicapped accessible.

St. Martin's Church Museum and Valentine Hall are located northwest of Rhineland, at Starkenburg. From the intersection of Missouri highways 94 and 19, just north of Hermann, turn west toward Rhineland. One mile west of Rhineland, take Missouri Route P north for two miles to Starkenburg.

Call Brenda Van Booven at (573) 236-4390, (314) 223-5911 or at risensav@ktis.net. You may also contact Tammy Bruckerhoff at (573) 690-1965 or TourismDirector@VisitHermann.com.