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A Wet And Dreary Holiday Festival Filled With Joy

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Dec 042018
 

The Orange Holiday Festival Committee works very hard to make the annual event fun for everyone. They can make up a schedule and cram a lot of activities into a very short period of time, but they can’t control the weather.

Even with a steady drizzle putting a damper on things, Sunday’s annual event was far from a washout. Al deCant brought smiles and excitement to children’s faces at the library. New visitors appreciated the history lessons they learned at the Stone-Otis House and Academy Building. And who doesn’t love the new model railroad layout in the Academy basement?

Over at the Congregational Church, the Bell Choir was magnificent as usual and guests were treated to something new, The Amity Chamber Singers performed in the balcony instead of at the traditional spot at the library.

The OVNA building had a lot of wonderful gingerbread creations and the fireplace Ice Sculpture was really something else.

The Case Memorial Library experienced less traffic this year due to two major changes. First, as previously mentioned, the absence of the Chamber Singers, and the “break” that the Friends of the Library took from their sponsored decorated tree display this year.

Two features that were appreciated were deCant’s performance, Letters to Santa, and the “guess how many candies” contest (run by Kim Browe).

Now, in its second year, the tractor parade drew the attention of the entire crowd, with more participants than last year. Led by Blue Fantarella, they slowly rolled up Orange Center Road, big tractors, little tractors, tractors pulling trailers, all beautifully decorated with lights, garland, inflatables, and lighted plastic blown figures.

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department then announced Santa’s arrival with horns and sirens as they delivered the jolly old elf to the bright-eyed children who’d been anticipating the chance to meet him in person.

Because of the rain, First Selectman Jim Zeoli sped things up a little this time so everyone wouldn’t have to spend any more time getting wet than necessary. A young boy, who’d been chosen came forward and flipped the switch with Buddy the Elf, and he was delighted.

Santa took a seat in the trailer that he and his elves made up in the North Pole and welcomed all of the children to come in and share their Christmas wishes. As expected, some little ones were apprehensive and wouldn’t come in without their mommy, but Santa is clever and found a way for nearly every parent to get a photo of their child with him. Even a puppy happily sat for a photo op.

One of the most sincere exchanges was from a group of Amity Chamber Singers who documented their visit with a selfie video, as they asked Santa for acceptance letters to the college of their choice(s).

Thank you to the Committee for their hard work and for pulling off another successful Holiday Festival — even if Mother Nature had other plans.

 

Get Ready For Some Awesome Holiday Fun In Orange

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Nov 272018
 

The town of Orange invites you to attend the Annual Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting this coming Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. The festivities on and around the Orange Town Green will begin at 3 p.m.

Visitors may tour the Stone-Otis House to learn what a Victorian Christmas was like.  The Academy Building and the antique shop will be open and invites you to view the Historical Society’s antique collections and Emily Prudden Watercolors, as well as the New Haven to Derby line model railroad in the lower level from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.

The Orange Congregational Church will host a cookie sale, handbell concert and carol sing in the church sanctuary from 4 to 5 p.m.

The Case Memorial Library will be splendidly decorated, and will host a performance from Al deCant of Half Moon Music who will perform a children’s musical program in the library meeting room from 3:30 – 4 p.m.  Guess how many candies are in the jar at the library and win a prize, write a letter to Santa Claus and make a craft in the craft room.  The Library will be open from 3 – 5 p.m.

Don’t forget to enter the Gingerbread House Contest

The Annual Gingerbread Contest will be featured in the Clark Building.  Friends of all ages are invited to enter a gingerbread creation.  Entries must be dropped off at the Clark Building from 2 – 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2 and must be picked up between 5:30 – 6 p.m.  Prizes will be given to the contest winners.

An ice carving demonstration will take place in front of the Clark Building from 3- 5 p.m.

The second annual Lighted Tractor Parade will take place down Orange Center Road at 4:30 p.m.  Santa Claus will arrive at the conclusion of the Lighted Tractor Parade.  The Tree Lighting will take place at 5:30 p.m.  Children may visit with Santa on the Town Green.  The Holiday Festival will end at 6 p.m.

Come one, come all and bring your friends and family to this wonderful town event.

Originally posted on Nov. 10. 

 

Orange Holiday Festival, Great Weather, New Schedule, A Fine Day For All

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Dec 082014
 

The New Light Switch was designed by Chris Small.

The New Light Switch was designed by Chris Small.

The 2014 Orange Holiday Festival held fun and surprises for everyone.

The Gingerbread Houses were lovely and learning how to make one from the pros, delightful.

Al deCant and the Amity Chamber Singers filled the Library with beautiful music, and children had the excitement of guessing how many candy kisses were inside a giant jar and an opportunity to write a letter to Santa.

The old school room at the Academy Building hasn’t seen so much activity in years, as kids sat at the old wooden desks and wrote on individual chalk boards. For some it was the first visit to the historic building that once served as Town Hall. (It is open to the public every Saturday).

The Congregational Church bell choir sounded better than ever.

The Ice Carver made an awesome train engine on the front lawn of the VNA building, and next door at Mapleview Farm the Orange Juniorettes collected items for the Milford-Orange Animal Shelter.

One special surprise was Santa’s arrival PRIOR to the tree lighting. In past years, he rode in on a fire truck, but this time Santa was accompanied by the fire department, but rode in on a motorcycle with a sidecar in which his friend “Buddy, the Elf” had somehow managed to squeeze his long legs.

The two greeted children, who shared their Christmas wishes with the Jolly one as smaller elf helpers handed out candy canes.

First Selectman Jim Zeoli thanked his office assistants Mary Shaw and Karen Goldberg for all their hard work in planning the event, along with several other people who played an important part in making the day a success.

The tree lighting itself had a different twist, with a large festive handle created by Chris Small, the master of Orange’s Lincoln Lights display. In past years, the switch was flipped inside a power box near the street. But this time, the winner of the Gingerbread House Contest and Santa pulled the giant lever. So much fun!

Children seated on the ground led the crowd in a round of Jingle Bells and the festivities wound to a close.

 

Orange Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting is Sunday, Dec. 8

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Dec 082013
 

CHristmascardsSantaandpetsThe Town of Orange invites you to attend the Annual Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting on Sunday, December 8, 2013.  Festivities on and around the Orange Town Green will begin at 3:00 p.m.  All activities are free of charge.

Visitors may tour the Stone-Otis House to learn what a Victorian Christmas was like.  The Connecticut Yuletide Carolers will provide musical entertainment strolling around town buildings and at the Stone-Otis House from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.

The Academy Building and the antique shop will be open and invites you to view the Historical Society’s antique collections and Emily Prudden Watercolors, as well as the Orange to Derby line model railroad in the lower level.

The Orange Congregational Church Bell Choir will perform a hand bell concert and carol sing  in the church sanctuary from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. as well as an Alternative Gift Fair, Cookie Sale and crafts for the kids from 3 – 5 p.m.

The Case Memorial Library will be splendidly decorated, and will host a performance from the Amity Chamber Singers from 3:45 – 4:00 p.m. and from Al deCant who will perform a children’s musical program in the library meeting room from 4:00 – 4:45 p.m.  Guess how many candies in the jar at the library and win a prize and write a letter to Santa Claus. The Library will be open from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The Annual Gingerbread Contest will be featured in the Clark Building.  Friends of all ages are invited to enter a gingerbread creation.  Entries must be dropped off at the Clark

Building at 2 p.m. on December 8th and must be picked up between 5:30 – 6:00 p.m.

An ice carving demonstration will take place in front of the Clark Building from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m..

The Tree Lighting will take place at 5:30 p.m.  Immediately following, Santa Claus will arrive at the Town Green for a visit with the children.

The Holiday Festival will end at 6:00 p.m.

2013 Holiday Flyer Draft