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Camping at Christmas in July

This weekend will be the first Christmas in July hosted by Friends of Washington State Park. There will be activities for children and adults of all ages and the event is free. 

Christmas is known as a time when individuals get out their best decorations, work to buy the biggest gifts, and do their best to get along with everyone around them. After all, Christmas comes but once a year … or does it?

In Washington County, particularly Washington State Park, Christmas will be coming twice in 2019.

Individuals and families should mark their calendars for the first Christmas in July hosted by the Friends of Washington State Park scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. One purpose of the event is to raise funds and collect new and unopened toys for the local Toys for Tots organization.

All events during this weekend are free and open to the public and will take place at the campground unless otherwise noted. All events are weather permitting and subject to change.

Friends of Washington State Park President Pat McKalip said the group wants to try this new event and see how well it works out.

“Our main goal is to get more people to come out and enjoy the park. We want families to come out and see the many things the park has to offer even if it is only for a day.”

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On Saturday, the Christmas Campsite Decorating Contest will begin at 8 a.m. At 1 p.m. that day, Santa will arrive and there will be a Fire Safety Program presented. A lawnmower train will run 1-4 p.m. Later that evening will come the judging and awards for the campsite decorating contest. Popcorn will be served during “Hug a Tree” at 7 p.m. in the amphitheater. The day will also include a scavenger hunt (time yet to be determined).

Prizes will be given for the “best decorated” campsite and the “most original” campsite.

“There will also likely be some S’mores thrown in the mix at some point as well,” said McKalip.

On Sunday, Friends of Washington State Park will host a fundraiser breakfast. Funds from this event will also go to Toys for Tots. The menu will include breakfast burritos, biscuits and gravy, fruit bowl, coffee, milk and juice and will run until 10 a.m. or until the food is gone. The cost of the breakfast is a donation to the group.  

For more information on the event or to reserve a camping space, individuals can call the park at 636-586-5768 or visit the park website at www.mostateparks.com or follow the park on Facebook at www.facebook.com/washingtonstatepark

Washington State Park is located 10 miles south of De Soto on Highway 21.

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Matt McFarland is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616.

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