Slatington celebrates first Christmas on Main
“Mrs. Claus,” Donna Leiser, reads “The Night Before Christmas” in the Slatington Public Library while Kora Stevens hands out coloring books. KELLEY ANDRADE/TIMES NEWS
Slatington third-grade student Madilynn Husack helps create the luminarias that will light the path for Santa’s arrival in the park. KELLEY ANDRADE/TIMES NEWS
The borough of Slatington spread holiday cheer Friday night with its first Christmas on Main.
Partnering with The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, the borough and Main Street Merchants Group included the entire historical district in its traditional tree lighting ceremony.
Local businesses offered holiday-themed specials and displays all along the main stretch beginning at 4 p.m. until Santa’s 7 p.m. arrival in the Veterans’ Memorial Park.
The Slatington Public Library hosted Donna “Mrs. Claus” Leiser for a special story time at 5 p.m.
“I think it’s different for the kids to have her instead of Mr. Claus,” said library board member Renee Evans.
More than 25 children accompanied by their parents gathered around the warmly lit tree to hear “The Night Before Christmas.”
Evans said the library was able to put in a request for coloring books and crayons for children in attendance to the Crayola Factory in Easton.
“So now every year we can do this,” she said.
Christmas carolers gathered at Charlotte Fay’s Main Street Diner for live music, dinner specials and hot chocolate before making their way to the park along the luminaria marked path to greet Santa and bask in the glow of the community tree.
Three trees donated by the Lions Club and Beck’s Tree Farm were raffled off this year along with a wreath donated by Kern’s Floral to residents in attendance.
Children in the park worked on crafts and homemade bird-feeders while they waited for the man in red to arrive.
Singer Valerie Case belted out the national anthem to open the lighting ceremony.
Following her lead, residents gathered and joined in the a cappella renditions of “Deck the Halls,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Jingle Bells,” and, of course, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” as the firetruck carrying St. Nicholas rolled into town.
“It’s a good community event,” said chamber President Jack Bechtel.
“This is a beautiful night and there are quite a few people here to sing and bring in the season,” he said.
In addition to the traditional holiday cheer, resident Denise Martinez kicked off her winter-wear collection campaign for the borough.
“I call it ‘Project Warm and Cozy,’ ” she said.
“We are tying hats, gloves and scarves around the poles and trees at the trailhead. Anyone who needs one can take one and anyone can leave one. Anything left over after the collection will be laundered and given to the homeless here and in the Allentown area,” she said.
“It’s something that warms my heart to do for the community,” she said.
The official kickoff of the collection will take place Dec. 9 at the Slatington Trailhead at noon when Santa once again will make an appearance next to the Slatington Lions Club Christmas tree sales.
“We are bringing people together to show there is still good in the world,” Martinez said.