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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. 

 

Santa’s Helper: Krista’s Best Memory Revealed

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Dec 152014
 

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This is a file photo from a similar event.

Best Santa’s Helper story!

As Christmas 2010 approached my two young daughters, Erin age 9 and Kelsey age 11, were looking forward to Christmas.  As we had done every year since we moved to Orange we had dropped off a gift for each with Mama Elf and were looking forward to Santa’s visit on December 19th.

Then came a shock.  My father had been battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia since late September and had been doing very well. It was a struggle but he had had some good test results just before Thanksgiving and we thought he was on the way to recovery.  But on Dec. 14th he took a very sudden turn for the worse and he passed away on Dec. 15th.  His wake was scheduled for December 19th and the funeral for December 20th.

My daughters had been very close with their grandfather and took his passing hard.  Our family would still find a way to get through the holidays for them but with the wake on Sunday we would not be around for Santa’s visit.

My husband Bob went down to the firehouse to explain to Mama Elf that he would like to retrieve the presents we had dropped off and tell Santa not to stop at our house.  To his surprise she wouldn’t hear of it.  She asked him to leave the presents and she would see if a few of the firemen would be willing to come another night. Arrangements were made for Tuesday or Wednesday the following week (honestly, I have no idea what day it was since my brain was in a fog).  We didn’t tell the girls because we wanted it to be a surprise.

Well, we were all surprised!  That evening 5 fire trucks came through our neighborhood  with lights flashing and sirens blaring!!!  There were a bunch of other vehicles parking on our street  too!  Firemen and elves were everywhere!  The firemen formed a double line from the street to our front door and Santa and his elves and helpers all came down the aisle and into our house!

Apparently when Mama Elf asked for a few volunteers to make the special visit to my family ALL the firemen and women, Santa and elves volunteered!  Every individual that came into our house offered their condolences and wished the girls a Merry Christmas.  They brought us candy canes and beautiful snowflake ornaments for our tree that we gladly hang every year.  It was a magical night for my girls.

I am so happy to have a chance to share with everyone the most wonderful and moving moment of our very difficult Christmas and to thank Mama Elf, Santa, the elves and all the fantastic volunteers at the Orange Fire Department.  Their compassion and thoughtfulness are true examples of the Christmas spirit!

Merry Christmas,

Krista McCormack

This is It! Today Is The Annual Holiday Festival Beginning at 3 p.m.

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Dec 072014
 

IMG_5334You asked for it, now here it is, everything you need to know about the Holiday Festival.

The Town of Orange invites you to attend the Annual Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting on Sunday, December 7, 2014.  Festivities on and around the Orange Town Green will begin at 3:00 p.m.    

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 3:45 p.m. to 5:15 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. The Orange-Derby model Railroad will not be participating this year as they are rebuilding their display. 

The Orange Juniorettes will have its First Annual Wonderland Waggin’ Pet Food Drive to benefit the Milford/Orange Animal Shelter. We will accept donations at the decorated wagon located on the front lawn of Mapleview Farm throughout the Tree Lighting ceremonies. The shelter is in need of pet food (wet or dry), litter, treats, toys, and pet beds. 

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 1.32.51 PMThe 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 giving opportunity for Heifer International, 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 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. and from Al deCant who will perform a children’s musical program in the library meeting room from 4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.  Guess how many candies 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 3:00 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 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. on Dec. 7 and must be picked up between 5:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Watch a gingerbread house making demonstration by Julia’s Bakery and Chef’s Emporium from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. The Gingerbread House Contest will be judged by Julia’s Bakery and Chef’s Emporium and the winner will be invited to light the Christmas Tree.  Crafters will be available near the Clark Building.

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

Santa Claus will arrive at 5:00 p.m. The Tree Lighting will take place at 5:30 p.m. Children can visit with Santa on the Town Green. The Holiday Festival will end at 6:00 p.m.

Originally Published on: Nov 13, 2014 @ 21:11

Second Publishing on: Nov 22, 2014 @ 20:01