BY JOHN E. USALIS
Downtown Ringtown will be full of festive holiday fun this weekend with the first Olde Fashioned Christmas event.
The event will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday and 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday and is being hosted by the Ringtown Rotary Club and Pine Hollow Soaps in Ringtown.
On the schedule for the event are old-fashioned Christmas carolers, a live Nativity scene, petting zoo, free horse-drawn carriage rides (Sunday only) and story time with Santa Claus.
More than 40 food and merchandise vendors are to be set up like a Christmas Market throughout the center of town.
As visitors stroll along Main and other streets, they will hear the bells of St. Mary Roman Catholic Church playing classic Christmas hymns.
Rotarian Cheri Linkchorst is the main organizer and presented the idea to the club in the summer.
“I came up with this idea back in August, but it then got sidelined,” Linkchorst said. “I pushed it pretty hard in September and was told that if I could get the borough to go along with it, we would go on with it.
“I went to a council meeting and explained everything and the council went along with it immediately and also waived permit fees.”
The money received from vendors will be donated to the borough for its Christmas lights, parks and other public uses.
“Then I got the Rotary to agree to pay for Leiby’s horses,” she said. “We probably have 40 or more vendors. We explained to them that it was an outdoor event. They could set up a tent and have a generator. They could bring their food trucks. The firetrucks will be kicking off the whole deal with their Santa parade at 3 o’clock. We will have our dancers in the lead. Santa will be giving out stockings, and on Sunday he’ll be giving out gifts to all the children under 8.”
Children and adults will enjoy seeing the goats and alpacas at the petting zoo and listening to Santa Claus read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” aloud. After the story, Santa will give out a free “Soap from Santa” courtesy of Pine Hollow Soaps while supplies last.
“It’s an outdoor event and it may be cold, but the only thing that could stop it is a snowstorm,” Linkchorst said.
As of Tuesday, the event was expected to be held.
“Masks are required. All of the vendors are at least 8 feet apart so that things aren’t crowded,” Linkchorst said. “We’re using the back streets. You can walk across Main Street and go to the back of the firehouse (Ringtown Valley Fire and Rescue Company) and there will be food and merchandise vendors in there. We have tons of crafts and last-minute gift ideas.”
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