September 19, 2014


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Trinity Lutheran welcomes Advent with Nov. 30 service

The beginning of Advent will be observed with a special service at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Jenera, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov 30.

The theme is "He Comes the Messiah Long Foretold" and Pastor Al Schmitzer's message will focus on Jesus as our Prophet. The students in Grades 3-4 will sing.


Festival of Lessons and Carols performed twice on Dec. 4

Three Bluffton University choirs will headline "A Festival of Lessons and Carols," the university's annual Christmas choral concert, at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, in Yoder Recital Hall.

The program is designed around a historical structure of Scripture readings and Christmas carols. The readings, taken from prophetic writings about the Messiah's coming and from the Christmas story, are interspersed with various Christmas pieces.

Check out The Icon's Blaze videos

Did you like Saturday's Blaze parade and other events? What to relive some of the activities? Here's the Icon's list of Blaze videos.

Ice sculptor

Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus

Parade 1

Parade 2

Parade 3

Musical entertainment

BHS choir


Trinity Lutheran Church and School float wins first place in Blaze parade

Did you watch the Blaze parade?

Want to watch it again? Here are several photo highlights of the parade that featured nearly 80 units and entertained over 2,000 parade watchers for over 45 minutes.

Three floats were winners in the parade.

First - Trinity Lutheran Church and School
Second - Citizens National Bank
Third - Bluffton Hospital

According to Junior Weihrauch, parade director, between 70 and 80 units made up the parade, which is one of the largest in Blaze history.

More photos will be posted later.


Here's a second look at the 2011 Blaze parade

Did you watch the Blaze parade?

Want to watch it again? Here are several photo highlights of the parade that featured nearly 80 units and entertained over 2,000 parade watchers for over 45 minutes.

More photos will be posted as we process them.


The Iceman Cometh

Just as it was promised, the Blaze Ice Man was "Ultimate Cool."

New to this year's Blaze, ice sculptor Chad Hartson of Ice Creations, from Napoleon, was the lead act to one of the highest attended Blaze of Lights in the 25-year history of the event.

Hartson is one of America's leading sculptors with national and international recognition. Working with a block of ice 40 by 20 by 10 inches kept the attention of the crowd for 45 minutes as he created a toy soldier from his large ice cube.

Here are some photos and a short video of the artist at work.


The Black Lab wins downtown holiday decorating contest

First place - The Black Lab
Second place - Citizens National Bank
Third place - Groves Collectibles and Antiques

Those are the winners of this year's Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce downtown holiday window decorating contest.

Casting ballots this year were all 43 downtown busineses that were part of the new garland lighting project. Each business had one ballot.

The Black Lab receives a traveling trophey that it will keep until next year's contest, according to Lauren Beasley, chairperson of the lighting contest.

Eric Garmatter era starts with a BHS win


The Eric Garmatter coach era started with a "W" as Bluffton High School girls launched the 2011-12 basketball season with 50-41 win over Cory-Rawson in the first round of the McDonalds' holiday tournament at BHS on Nov. 25.

Bluffton faces Arlington on Nov. 26 in the title game at 8 a.m. Arlington was a 59-31 winner over Allen East.


Sorry, no GPS available to find Bluffton residential lights; but our map will do

Until GPS can direct you to all the lights in Bluffton a map will have to do.

The Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce provides those intersested in viewing Bluffton's wide range of Christmas holiday lights with a map to navigate the streets of town.

The printer-friendly copy, which is an attachment to this story, is your starting point to a great evening of cruising Bluffton.


Events start at 4 p.m. downtown; 5 p.m. parade; 7 p.m. lights go on

4 p.m. Ice Creations exhibition

By Fred Steiner

It all starts at 4 p.m. on Saturday in downtown Bluffton.

It's the 25th annual Bluffton Blaze of Lights. This year's Blaze continues a tradition launched in 1986 when the Harry and Dorothy Ream outdoor Christmas folk art display moved from rural Jenera to Bluffton.

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