By Stephen Smoot
With snow already gracing some of the ridges of the region and Old Man Winter on the way, the Pendleton County Chamber of Commerce has announced plans for its Christmas celebration. Winter Wonderland in the Park will start at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 10 and run through 6 p.m. that night.
The community Christmas celebration, until last, year was known as Main Street Magic. Elizabeth Scott, Pendleton County Chamber of Commerce executive director, noted that “things have changed, not all Main Street businesses stay open on Saturday anymore.” She added that “the weather has not always cooperated. Last year, it rained.”
Festivities start with a hot pancake breakfast served at 8:30 in the community building. One of the main attractions throughout the day, starting at 10 a.m., will be the vendors who set up inside the building. Scott explains that “it’s a wonderful opportunity for people to do last minute Christmas shopping.” She added that “we can fit 19 or 20 vendors in the community building” and “a lot of businesses said they were interested in some capacity.”
Attendees can also enjoy a hot lunch, also served at the community building.
Children will get to show off their holiday arts and crafts skills starting at 9 a.m. at the Pendleton County Library. For two hours, they can make homemade Christmas tree ornaments. Scott says, “kids can take them down to the park to hang on the tree which will light up when Santa gets there.”
For most children of all ages, one of the top attractions of the day remains the Christmas parade. Lineup starts at 4:30 p.m. at Franklin Elementary School. It will follow Main Street, run around Mill Road, and march to the town park.
“Any business who wants to do a float can,” Scott said. She added that one of her favorite parts of last year’s parade was when “kids decorated four wheelers and rode them around town.”
Santa and Mrs. Claus will also take time from their busy schedule at the North Pole to headline the parade. When they and the rest of the assemblage arrive at Franklin Town Park, the official tree lighting ceremony will take place.
The chamber will also organize an “adopt a post” program. Scott says participants can “decorate a post however you want, just pick a holiday theme.” Judges will examine the work and announce winners at the end of the day.
Scott stated that the chamber had plans “if cold or nasty weather hits.” She said that in case of severe weather, some outdoor events could relocate to the community building.