There’s no need to tell Rita Briant that Historic Living Windows will be worth her time Saturday.

“They’ll look like Ethel and Lucy,” she said of residents Joanne Genrich and Trish Trinrud. The two women will be seen making Norwegian cookies in Briant’s window at Prairie Flower Beads from 4 to 6 p.m.

The 1950s era — evoking the classic sitcom “I Love Lucy” for Briant — is one of several vignettes from the past that she’ll enjoy in downtown Portage.

“It’s neat whenever people play a part from history,” Briant said. “Not too many towns do this.”

“The Night Before Christmas” is this year’s window scene at Forever Yours Jewelry. It’s one of 27 scenes from 29 groups along Cook, DeWitt and Wisconsin streets, said Forever Yours Manager Abra Shimpach. Look for Fred Galley of Galley Studio — to be dressed as a paperboy Saturday — for maps of the event.

“You won’t know what to expect as you walk. It’s exciting — but it’s also calming because there’s no sound,” Shimpach said. “You’ll see what’s going on, but there’s this silence behind it. It gets you thinking about what life used to be like.”

Other features of Living Windows include Santa Claus, who will roam the streets; snacks and hot beverages; and live music. New to the event this year is a photo booth at the corner of Cook and DeWitt, Shimpach said.

Kiddie Christmas

Historic Indian Agency House will once again host “Kiddie Christmas” at the conclusion of Living Windows. Santa will make his way from downtown Portage to the fireplace at HIAH in order to listen to children’s wish lists from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

“It will be a great place to take a pretty picture,” said HIAH Executive Director Jennifer Blau.

Families might also enjoy decorating sugar cookies or browsing the handmade crafts in the HIAH gift shop. Donations of $5 are encouraged.

Visitors to HIAH from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. can create or purchase evergreen wreaths. Reservations for wreath making are requested. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday HIAH also will sell poinsettias of pink, red and white.

For more information about the Saturday events at HIAH, call 608-742-6362 or email

For the dogs

Columbia County Humane Society will hold its annual “Bring Your Paws to Santa Claus” photo event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“It supports a good cause, and it’s really fun for families,” said CCHS Executive Director Susan Bratcher. Standard 4x6 photos require a $10 donation to CCHS, and other photo packages will be available for purchase.

Sessions will be done in 15-minute increments. Registration is encouraged, though CCHS will accept walk-ins, Bratcher said.

“It’s a cute way to celebrate the holidays.”

For more information, call CCHS at 608-742-3666.

Follow Noah Vernau on Twitter @NoahVernau

Portage Daily Register reporter