Switzerland County begins its Christmas celebration this weekend, starting with the monthly First Friday event.

Festivities will run from 6 to 9 p.m. and feature late-night shopping, dining, store specials, art openings and free carriage rides.

Switzerland County Tourism will hold an Ugly Christmas Sweater contest. Categories include All-Around Ugliest, Most Festive and Most Likely to be Avoided at the Annual Christmas Party.

The contest is open to anyone who wants to participate. Judging will take place around 8 p.m. at the Visitors Center.

Participants are encouraged to wear Christmas hats, pants, skirts, ties, socks, scarves and mittens in addition to sweaters or vests.

There will also be a chance for children to make a festive jingle bell necklace from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Visitors Center. Supplies are limited. All activities are free and open to the public.

Country Christmas will give visitors a chance for visitors to experience forms of a traditional Christmas.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, the Musee de Venoge will celebrate an 1820s Christmas, including traditional Swiss Christmas cookies to sample.

The Thiebaud Farmstead will have an 1860s Christmas featuring Christmas tunes on fiddle, dulcimer and guitar.

Musee de Venoge is located at 111 State Route 129. The Thiebaud Farmstead is located at 5147 E. State Road 56. Admission to the Country Christmas is free, with donations greatly appreciated.

For further information about the two sites, visit www.switzcomuseums.org or call (812) 427-3560 and www.venoge.org or call (812) 593-5726. 

Light Up Vevay will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. There will be store specials and activities around town. Scrooge and an Elf on the Shelf will be roaming downtown at noon and will be at the Switzerland County Visitors Center at 1:45 p.m. and available for pictures.

The Visitors Center will offer craft time for kids to create jingle bell necklaces as long as supplies last.

The second annual Vevay Christmas Parade will begin at 4 p.m. Saturday. The parade will begin with the "Ringing of the Bells," a simultaneous bell ringing by downtown churches and sites.

Parade onlookers are invited to bring their own hand, sleigh or jingle bells to help ring in the parade. The parade committee asks that in the spirit of the occasion that attendees refrain from using any air horn or noisemaker-type devices.

The parade will cruise down Vevay's Main Street and proceed to Paul Ogle Riverfront Park at 100 Ferry St. Afterwards, cookies and hot chocolate will be served while children can visit with Santa.

At nightfall, Vevay's Christmas tree will be lit up for the season.The lights will be lit every night during December.