Toni Presley believes that town pride still exists in Frankford. She can’t wait to see it displayed at the “Christmas in the Park” tree-lighting on Nov. 28, with families, carols and Santa Claus.
At the Frankford Town Park, the lights display has already been a nighttime holiday destination for several years.
“However, we are envisioning a smaller version of Ocean City’s [Winterfest of Lights] … which means a lot more lights!” Presley stated. “We are also trying to get community involvement by having different churches and community organizations decorate sections of the park.”
Under the “Envision Frankford” team, fundraising is under way to improve the decorations for a full-blown town event.
“What we’re trying to do is get people involved in the town again,” said Presley, a 30-year resident. “I used to think how cute this little town was. But over the years, it just looks like people lost interest, which we’re trying to revive … We want the community spirit to grow.
“I know it’s there, but I think it fell to sleep on people,” she said. “Because everybody sits back … thinking everybody else is gonna do it. It doesn’t get done by a few people. It takes a town. It takes a community to accomplish things.”
Frankford has the potential. The playground itself is still a neighborhood hub, despite challenges facing the town council (of which Presley’s husband is a new member). The park has walkers and young families visiting every morning, basketball players in the afternoon and soccer games until dusk.
Crowds of revelers attended the Halloween Parade and Fall Festival in October.
“Given the positive feedback we have been getting from the town residents, it was a huge success!” Presley stated.
For the tree-lighting, the Presleys — themselves past winners in the town’s former holiday decorating contest — are managing lights and fence decorations.
The “Envision Frankford” team is also currently seeking volunteers and will be requesting sponsorships.
The Town already got a tree donated by Roots Landscaping & Garden Center and a Santa house with lumber partly donated by Sussex Lumber, being built by the Indian River High School shop department, and has arranged for Santa Claus to meet with children once a week in December.
Anyone who wants Frankford to be something greater can get involved, Presley said, noting that she was already delighted to hear interest from a woman outside of town limits. Even a recent gift raffle (gifts donated by Lowe’s) benefitting the effort had winners from Frankford, Dagsboro and Georgia.
“We have a lot of things we want to get people together to do,” Presley said. “Since this is our first year, and this is a huge project, the more help, the better. Anyone who would like to join us, please contact Robbie Murray, president of the Frankford Volunteer Fire Company, at (302) 236-9333.”