Local residents, area shoppers and those home for the Thanksgiving weekend may as well just skip the chaos of Black Friday - and they may also want to avoid the ever-increasing online security risks of Cyber Monday.

That’s because it’s really all about spending your holiday dollars shopping at local stores here in Bellevue, the community we all live in and need to support.

On Saturday, Nov. 24, businesses and chamber officials are encouraging everyone to support local merchants and businesses in Bellevue, which have so much to offer.

That’s when Bellevue’s 25th annual Holiday Open House, “Unwrap the Magic of Christmas,” will take place, and there are so many holiday events, shows and shopping opportunities that even Santa Claus will come to town to join in all the action.

To mark the 25th anniversary, this year the Holiday Open House will be held for  two consecutive Saturdays, Nov. 24 and Dec. 1.

As well as shopping on Nov. 24, there will be a Lighted Christmas Parade, fireworks and the annual Firemen’s Chili Supper at the Bellevue Fire Station, where Santa Clause will make an appearance. In addition, a Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair will be held at the Bellevue Elementary gymnasium.

The annual Lighted Christmas Parade and Fireworks (as well as hot chocolate and cookies) along the Mississippi, which has been sponsored for the past 15 years by Lampe’s True Value Hardware, will take place beginning at 6:15 p.m. Saturday night.

Back this year by popular demand will be the Christmas Tour of Homes, which will take place the following weekend on Saturday, Dec. 1 from noon to 4 p.m.

Also on Dec. 1 is the Festival of Trees at the Off-Shore Event Centre from noon to 6 p.m. A ‘Soup Cook-Off’ will also take place from noon to 6 p.m.

Tour of Home tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the Bellevue Chamber Office and both Bellevue banks. Homes on the tour include those of Curt and Lucy Zeimet, Susan Williams, Ray and Doris Theisen, Daryl and Cindy Parker and Brian and Pam Kueter.

"I am super-excited to bring ‘Christmas Magic’ home on two weekends this year. The Tour of Homes committee wanted to bring back the Festival of Trees and add a soup cook-off to go along with the tour, said Carrie Weaver, Director of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce. “We wanted to give the Tour of Homes its own Saturday, so we can grow the number of people attending. We are hopeful this will also bring more people to Bellevue."

The annual Lighted Christmas Parade and Fireworks (as well as hot chocolate and cookies) along the Mississippi, which has been sponsored for the past 15 years by Lampe’s True Value Hardware, will take place beginning at 6:15 p.m. Saturday night.

Here is a list of the events that are scheduled for Unwrap the Magic of Christmas in Bellevue:

Schedule

for Nov. 26

• Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair

    10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bellevue Elementary

    Gym

• Chili Supper, BFD Fire Station 4 to 8 p.m.

• Christmas Fireworks over the River

   sponsored by Lampe’s True Value at 6:15 p.m.

• Lighted Christmas Parade

   Following fireworks on Front Street

Saturday, Dec. 1

• Tour of Homes noon to 4 p.m.

• Festival of Trees at Off-Shore noon to 6 p.m.

• Soup Cook off at Off-Shore noon to 6 p.m.