After the dishes have been put away and the whole family is over-stuffed with turkey and fixings, many begin their Christmas holiday decorating. And, this weekend, two area towns are inviting the public to join in on lighting the towns’ Christmas trees and get into the holiday spirit.
On Saturday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m., the community is being invited to Katie Helm Town Park in Dagsboro to help usher in the holiday season.
“It’s a nice way to get everyone into the holiday spirit. It’s right after Thanksgiving and it ushers in the holidays in town — it’s the kickoff for our parade, coming up on Dec. 8,” said Dagsboro Councilman Brian Baull.
“Everybody is invited to attend. It all starts at 7 o’clock. We’re going to have some local performers from Indian River High School. Nate Mohler, the band director, is going to have some of his students playing. Margie and Richard Eckerd, who are longtime music teachers, will have some of their students come out and sing for us as well.”
Along with tidings and good cheer, attendees will be able to enjoy free hot chocolate, cookies and a meet-and-greet with the jolly fellow himself — Santa Claus.
“Santa will come out and be there for pictures with the kids want for Christmas,” said Baull, noting families should bring their own cameras.
Dry-goods donations are also being requested from those who attend, although they’re not required.
“We’re asking people to bring out donations of non-perishable food items. We’ll donate those to Dagsboro Church of God. They have a food pantry right out on Route 113.
“Last year, which was the first year we did it, we collected about 100 items. Hopefully, we’ll be able to top that this year. We’re asking people to just bring what they can out. We’ll have a little donation area where they can drop them off, and we will make sure they get to a good cause.”
Baull said he hopes the entire community will make it out to the park and enjoy an evening of fellowship and holiday cheer.
“It was a very nice night,” he said of last year’s event. “We’re hoping to have the same kind of weather. Hopefully, people will come out, get into the holiday spirit and help up light the tree and park. Everybody is invited to come out and join us. Hopefully, people will take a little time to come out and get in the holiday spirit with us.”
Frankford to hold
That same evening, the Town of Frankford will be holding its annual tree-lighting ceremony, on Saturday, Nov. 26, at 6 p.m.
“The event starts at 6 p.m., but the actual tree-lighting will take place at 6:30,” said Robbie Murray, president of the Frankford Volunteer Fire Company, who is helping organize the event. “Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the Santa House for photo opportunities and visits with children. We’ll have free hot cocoa and cookies. There will be Christmas carols and singing taking place.
“Some of the church choirs will be participating, and then Pastor Mike Vaughan from The Father’s House is going to bring all the children up, like he did last year, and get them all involved in singing different Christmas carols.”
Murray said the event drew approximately 800 people last year.
“We would love to exceed that number this year.”
Organizers of the free event are also requesting that attendees bring non-perishable food items or an unwrapped children’s toy, to be donated to area food pantries and Toys for Toys, respectively.
Although the Frankford tree-lighting ceremony is scheduled for just one evening, the holiday festivities will continue through the month of December, every Wednesday until Christmas, from 6 to 8 p.m.
“The park will be open to allow visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus again. Free cookies, free hot cocoa will be served, and families will be encouraged to walk around the park and enjoy the lights,” said Murray.
“We had a number of people — just because the lines at Winterfest in Ocean City last year were so long — last year. On that Saturday night, they left there and came here and were pleasantly surprised. It’s not a ride — it’s a walk-around. You’re able to walk around as a family while Christmas music is playing and take in the lights.”
Murray said hosting Town events is important to help bring community members together and that he hopes it will be well-received.
“I think anytime you can bring the community together for a family-oriented event, I think it’s important. People get to go out and see neighbors they maybe haven’t seen in quite some time. The holiday season is the perfect time. People are in a good mood, and it’s just a great all-around event,” said Murray.
“Each of the organizations participating is responsible for decorating a different part of the park… Then it all comes together. Then the entire track around the park is lit up. We look forward to seeing everybody. Come out and enjoy the event.”