Frankford to celebrate Christmas in the park this Saturday

Date Published: 
Nov. 24, 2017

Envision Frankford is doing its part to bring the Christmas spirit to the town of Frankford and beyond.

On Saturday, Nov. 25, from 6 to 8 p.m., the community is being invited to join their neighbors and take part in a tree-lighting ceremony to kick off the holiday season.

“There was a vision all along about having community events, and certainly the park is the perfect opportunity and the perfect place for having that,” said Robbie Murray, Envision Frankford chairperson.

“Having done the fall festival for a number of years, it only made sense to do something around Christmas. We were going to have the Santa House there one night a week, and then Councilman Marty Presley suggested we have a formal tree-lighting ceremony… And for the last three years, that’s what we’ve done.”

That evening’s free event will not only feature the tree being lit, but those in attendance will be able to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus in Santa’s house, and enjoy cookies and hot cocoa, while taking in the lights and sounds of the holiday season.

“The big event is opening night,” said Murray. “People will be singing carols together. There are kids who go up on stage to sing, or have bells to ring during ‘Jingle Bells.’ The look on their face when Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive by fire truck is certainly priceless.”

An extra-special feature of this year’s festivities is the brand-new Christmas tree, which was purchased, in part, through a donation from Chesapeake Plumbing & Heating, which recently expanded its location in the town.

“This is our first year turning on our new Christmas tree,” noted Murray. “For the last couple of years, we had the desire to purchase a commercial, artificial Christmas tree that could be used each year. The price was the factor as to why we didn’t purchase it before. But, this year, Chesapeake made a donation of $5,000 to Envision Frankford, and that put us within striking distance of being able to get the tree.

“So, with their donation and then some funds we had from other donations, we were able to purchase a 20-foot artificial tree that we are currently putting up.”

Murray said a wide spectrum of community members have attended the event in years past.

“Each of the last two years we’ve had somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 people there opening night. On Wednesday nights, we have another 200 or 300 to visit Santa Claus,” he said, noting he knows of people who came from Snow Hill, Md., for past events.

Following Saturday’s event, there will be a Christmas in the Park event each Wednesday leading up to Christmas — Nov. 29, and Dec. 6, 13 and 20, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Participating organizations include the Frankford Volunteer Fire Company and Auxiliary, the Town of Frankford, Frankford Public Library, Frankford United Methodist Church, Frankford Antioch AME Church, Frankford Presbyterian Church and The Father’s House church.

“What we’ve done for Christmas in the Park is each of those organizations take their own area in the park and become responsible for decorating that area. While we may only have a few individuals from those organizations at a meeting, when it comes time to decorate at the park and hold the event, they may have 10, 15 or even more come out and help decorate their section.”

The end result offers a chance to take in the holiday spirit, for townsfolk and visitors alike.

“I think it’s great when you look out and you see people from all across the town and neighboring communities,” Murray said. “Certainly, when you pay attention to the media, it seems out of the norm to see the community come together and celebrate together and socialize together.

“I think that is what has created the success — we have the different churches, the library, the town hall, the fire company, the fire company auxiliary — so we’re really getting a wide spectrum of people.”

According to the Town of Frankford’s website, Envision Frankford is a “cooperative committee that consists of residents, organizations, churches and businesses. Its mission is to engage all of Frankford in a commitment to do the work necessary to re-make Frankford into the community we all take great pride in.”

Murray said Christmas in the Park is one of five events the group now puts on yearly. Other events are Easter in the Park, Movies in the Park (hosted on the last Friday of June, July and August) and the Fall Festival.

“Really, it’s about teamwork and bringing the community together. Too often, we get busy in the everyday and we don’t slow down to take the time to acknowledge our neighbors, to spend time with our neighbors.”

Murray said the event is fun for the whole family and really represents the community.

“This is really about giving everyone the opportunity to come to an event that’s free, see people in the community that maybe they don’t always get a chance to talk to, and put them in a place where they’re going to have a good time, and have a fun time,” he said. “We’d love to see you. Come out, have fun and celebrate the season.”