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Victorian Christmas celebrated in Lansford

  • CHRIS PARKER/TIMES NEWS Cherokee Levan, 7, and Chelsea Kurtz, 6, sway to the music as Leilani Chesonis, right, sings Mele Kalikimaka at the Victorian Christmas program at the Lansford Historical Society on Sunday.
    CHRIS PARKER/TIMES NEWS Cherokee Levan, 7, and Chelsea Kurtz, 6, sway to the music as Leilani Chesonis, right, sings Mele Kalikimaka at the Victorian Christmas program at the Lansford Historical Society on Sunday.
Published December 19. 2012 05:02PM

A happy crowd enjoyed beautiful music, lush decor, laughter and sweet treats Sunday as the Lansford Historical Society, Panther Valley Public Library, and St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church joined to present a Victorian Christmas open house and programs.

An appreciative audience enjoyed the vocal talents of a trio from the Holistic Therapeutic Outreach Services of Lansford. the group, composed of Panther Valley High School senior Jake Tokosh, Brenda Fritzinger and Karen Kappes, sang a variety of Christmas carols from across the decades, ranging from Jingle Bell Rock to Do You Hear What I Hear?

After an intermission to allow the audience to savor an array of Christmas cookies, cakes and candies, the program resumed, with Shenandoah singer Leilani Chesonis and David Derbes. Leilani, who wore a Victorian style dress, created by her mother, drew in her audience with her trademark energetic performance.

Leilani took her audience from a finger-snapping Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree to the melodic Mele Kalikimaka, a traditional Hawaiian Christmas song. Leilani had the help of Cherokee Levan, 7, and Chelsea Kurtz, 6, who wore leis and swayed to the music.

Derbes, clad as Santa Claus, complete with a blinking red nose, recited The Night Before Christmas. He rallied Lansford Historical Society secretary Dale Freudenberger to ring the bells on key words, and Leilani's mother, Debra Stravinsky, to whistle.

The program wrapped up with the audience joining Leilani in singing Silent Night, the lights dimmed and each person holding a lit candle. Leilani dedicated the song to her late grandfather.

Following the program guests visited the library, downstairs from the Historical Society, at 117 E. Bertsch St., to peruse books and sample goodies.

Across the street, St. John the Baptist, its architectural beauty enhanced with elegant Christmas decorations, drew many visitors.

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