By Rebecca Zemencik, Managing Editor • firstname.lastname@example.org
VALLEY VIEW – Girl Scout Troops and local organizations and businesses braved the cold weather Saturday morning in the Valley View Park to decorate live Christmas trees for a new event being held this weekend.
Christmas in the Park will be held Saturday, Dec. 17, from 5 to 10 p.m. This is a new event that the park association and several local women have brainstormed to become a reality.
Dave Williams, president of the Valley View Park Association provided some history and gave a tour of the park and shared the plans for the event Saturday, while the Christmas trees were being decorated.
Newton Koppenhaver who was a farmer was the last resident in the Valley View Park. In 1910, Koppenhaver’s barn was struck by lightning and burned down. His family moved out of the park shortly thereafter. His family would have been the last people to actually celebrate Christmas in the park.
Williams said after the fire, the cut stones from the foundation of the bank style barn remained in tact. The inside of the stone walls were reinforced with cement and the stones became the foundation for a new building now known as the eating house.
“Surely, Newton Koppenhaver would have been overwhelmed to know that his barn is going to be used to welcome the Christmas spirit back into the park.”
The events are being planned as an old-fashioned Christmas and are for the entire family.
“We want this event to create cherished memories for everyone in attendance,” said Williams. “Some traditions of past Christmas seasons are timeless. These traditions should be shared with our children and not be hidden somewhere in our hearts and minds.”
The initial event got underway Saturday morning with the Christmas tree decorating contest. The Wanda Christmas Tree Farm in Sacramento donated Christmas trees for the event.
Participants picked out their tree at the pavilion and began decorating. Many came with oranments that they had made special for the contest. Participants included Tri-Valley Life Skills, Kids Fight For Animals, Our K-9 Kid’s Grooming School, Troup 31167 (Daisies), Troup 31806 (CSA), Troup 31166 (Brownies) of the Girl Scouts, Romberger Furniture, Valley Girl Gifts, Tammy Saltzman Family and AWANA Club.
The trees will be judged at noon on December 17. The public is welcome to view the lighted trees in the evening before and after the event.
Santa Claus will be visiting the park and will be using the cottage west of the stage. Children will be able to visit with Santa inside the cottage which was transformed into Santa’s special place. The walls are adorned with letters written to Santa by the kindergarten students from the Tri-Valley School District.
Romberger Furniture, Valley View, donated a special chair for Santa to sit on. Photos will be taken at the cottage and will be available to be picked up in the stage building.
The stage is enclosed, but inside will be a busy area of activity, similar to Santa’s workshop. Vendors will be selling Christmas season items and a craft station will be situated there for the kids to make homemade ornaments for the Christmas tree.
A 16’ Christmas tree has been donated by the Wagner Family of TLC Tree Farm of Fountain and is situated there.
A chinese auction will also be held. Prizes have been donated by members of the community and by local businesses.
The stage and the eating house will be heated by Koppy’s Propane, Inc. of Williamstown.
Warm foods and drinks will be served in the eating house including hot chocolate, hot cider, coffee, soups, hot dogs, and pulled pork and cookies.
Blyler Fruit Farm of Gratz has donated the apple cider.
There will also be a cookie decorating station set up in the eating house. Children will be able to decorate their own cookies with adult supervision. The eating house has been decorated for the event.
Carolers will be singing Christmas carols in the park and welcome anyone that wants to sing along. Classic Christmas songs will also be streamed into the park.
Horse drawn rides will begin at 7 p.m. and will travel a distance along the Buck Tree Archery Club’s access road in a beautiful forest setting. The Running Springs Farm of Spring Glen will be operating the wagon ride drawn by two horses.
Many people from the area have been involved in planning the event and have been working hard in the park to get everything ready. Dennis Mace of Hegins cut out gingerbread men and candy canes in his wood shop for lawn ornaments. The art department at the Tri-Valley High School painted them.
Jim Lemmon and Tammy Saltzman of Good Spring constructed a door entrance into the stage.
The Christmas door was painted by Kathy Zerbe of Valley View.
The Hegins Mill has donated reindeer food. Many donations of lights and decorations have been received from people from the area. Many local businesses have made monetary donations for the event.
Anyone that wants to help during the event will be welcomed and can contact 570-573- 9467 for more information.