Craig Johnson

"Longmire" author Craig Johnson will read a Christmas story as part of the Ucross Community Christmas Celebration on Dec. 9

Catherine Henriette

UCROSS, Wyo. — The fifth annual Ucross Community Christmas Celebration will take place on Saturday, Dec. 9.

Festivities begin at 4 p.m and continue through 6 p.m., culminating in the lighting of thousands of Christmas tree lights and a fireworks display. This year, the celebration will feature a special exhibition, "Raymond Plank: A Life of Courage and Faith," honoring the Ucross founder. The event, which is open to the public at no charge, will be held in the Raymond Plank Creative Center, located at the Park at Ucross.

The celebration will include the reading of a Christmas story by bestselling author and Ucross neighbor Craig Johnson. The Buffalo Balladiers will perform Christmas carols and Peer Helpers from Buffalo High School will assist with Christmas crafts for children.

Festive refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be served. The exhibition honoring Plank features a narrative display of stories, photographs and films that honor his life, vision and accomplishments.

In the spirit of Christmas, Ucross Foundation invites guests to bring canned and nonperishable food items for local community food pantries.

For this Christmas season, Ucross has also partnered with Volunteers of America – Northern Rockies to contribute 50 spruce trees from the Ucross tree nursery, which VOA will give to families they serve.

The Raymond Plank Creative Center and the Park at Ucross are located at the intersection of Highways 14 and 16 East in Ucross. For further information, call 307-737-2291 or email info@ucross.org.

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Entertainment Reporter

Jaci Webb covers entertainment for The Billings Gazette.