For the fifth year, Sugar Grove Borough will celebrate a community Christmas with hayrides by Bill Gourley, refreshments, living window displays, music and more on Friday, Dec. 13.
Judy Fry, event organizer and a member of the Sugar Grove AMVETS Auxiliary, said five years ago a number of people got together and said, "We really need to do something different downtown." She said that they got Kent Wilcox on board and took the idea of a community Christmas to the Sugar Grove Business Association and Sugar Grove Borough Council.
"It kind of took off," she added. "The first year we had a blizzard, schools were closed and people were calling to see if it was canceled. We said no, people are coming and everything is still on."
Photo submitted to the Times Observer
The fifth annual It’s a Sugar Grove Christmas will be held on Friday, Dec. 13, beginning at 5 p.m. All the events and refreshments are covered by donations, so everything is free to the public. From left are, Raggedy Andy and Raggedy Ann are Tim and Carolee Kinander; AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary President Michelle Williams, as a clown; elf Amy Pudder; Santa Claus, as himself; elf Mary Swanson; Lisa Anderson as Uncle Sam (with a Santa hat); elf Mary VanArsdale and clown Judy Fry costumed during a prior year’s celebration.
"By five o'clock it calmed down and everything was just magical," she said. "It's grown a little bit over the years."
There is no parade, but Santa Claus will arrive at the Sugar Grove Park by fire truck at 5 p.m., and the truck will then be available for children's tours.
Fry said that a new attraction, the Hedlund Express, will feature a motorized train, with an engine, caboose and cars in between that children can ride on.
Mrs. Claus will tell a story or two at the Sugar Grove Free Library, and the Eisenhower High School Orchestra will perform inside from 5 to 6 p.m. An outside fire will be lit for roasting marshmallows, which will go with hot chocolate.
There will also be doughnuts made on the spot in the park, served with cider, a hot dog stand manned by the AMVETS and AMVETS Auxiliary and costumed characters.
Hot mulled cider, coffee and hot chocolate will be served throughout town at various merchants, churches and organizations, along with cookies and other treats.
Participating merchants include Hebner's Town Styling, McKinney's Funeral Home, Wilcox Brothers, Catering Plus, Julie Greenman Photography, Darling's Pharmacy, Town and Country, The Bucket, Linda's Floral, Out Post, Sugar Grove Soft Serve, Bob's Discount Foods, New Beginnings, Schuyler's, PNC Bank and the Sugar Grove Laundromat.
Organizations and churches participating are the AMVETS and AMVETS Auxiliary, Eisenhower and Sugar Grove elementary schools, Eisenhower High School, American Legion Post 758, the library, Sugar Grove Volunteer Fire Department, the Warren County Dairy Princess, the Free Methodist Church, the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church.