Slatington holds festive Friday
Tony Castagnera and baby Rory enjoy Slatington's tree in Memorial Park Friday night. KELLEY ANDRADE/TIMES NEWS
The community of Slatington joined voices to serenade Saint Nicholas Friday night during the annual tree lighting.
Valerie Case led the bundled-up crowd through rounds of Christmas carols as Santa made his way to Memorial Park by firetruck.
"Jingle Bells" rang out from the group of over 30 gathered around the twinkling-light covered evergreen.
According to borough Mayor Walter Neidermeyer, it was the most well-attended tree lighting he has seen so far.
"It's the biggest crowd I've seen in the 12 years I've been doing it," he said. "It's great."
"This was really well-done, and there was a lot of things for families to do," Case said.
Greater Northern Lehigh Chamber of Commerce President Nancy Treskot agreed with the mayor, saying, "This is the best turnout we've had. We had young and old people from the community. This is the spirit of Christmas."
Joining in the holiday cheer, New Tripoli resident Ashley Rinker made the journey with her 4-year-old daughter Kylee to the borough for crafts in the park, songs and Santa.
"The tree is beautiful," she said. "This is the first year we have been here."
The Rinkers joined families at St. John's United Church of Christ for pictures with Mr. Claus, cookies and hot chocolate.
Children and even a few adults took turns telling Santa they deserved to be on the "good list" and making special present requests.
Maddie Husack, 7, asked for a Hatchimal, a modern-day version of the Furby.
"First it's an egg, then it hatches and turns into a Draggle or Penguala," she said.
Husack's classmate, 7-year-old Rocco Landosea, requested The Corps! patrol men.
This year the GNLCC partnered with Slatington's Main Street Merchants to create a First Friday event for residents to enjoy before the 6 p.m. lighting.
The library hosted a story time with Mrs. Claus, and the pop-up Blue Mountain Farmers Market occupied the former This, That and More.
"It was a huge success," said GNLCC Member Relations Director Alice Wanamaker.
"The library was packed. The children had a good time and we are hoping to do a future pop-up market."
Charlotte Fay's Main Street Diner served dinner to patrons for the first time since its opening.
Wanamaker said, "The diner was busy for the night. It's really exciting to see so much activity. It is a great way to kick off the holidays."
Slatington's holiday activities will continue with a Candy Cane Hunt in Victory Park on Saturday where families can bring children to search for a few hundred canes during the free event. The event in the park, sponsored by Northern Lehigh Recreation, is from 10:30 a.m. until noon.
Disney's "Frozen" characters Elsa, Anna and Kristoff will be on hand for photo opportunities throughout the morning.