By Jelane A. Kennedy
On Saturday December 14, 2014 Schroon Lake celebrated the 28th annual Old Tyme Christmas Celebration. It was a cold and blustery day and as evening came on the temperatures continued to drop. The first major snowfall of the season would begin that evening. With such forbidding weather, who would have thought the evening would be so full of cheer! We began our evening with a visit to town hall to see the vendors at the Crafters & Underground Food bazaar. The community room was full with 10-11 vendors. There was jewelry, knitted items, homemade granola & cooking spices, maple syrup products, photography etc. Eileen bought cookies and a sweet stuffed bear and I got some rub for cooking meats. Then it was onto see the lighting of the Christmas tree near the fountain.
While waiting for the lighting of the tree the crowd sung a few carols with the aide of song sheets. Once the tree was lit, as a group we walked a couple of blocks down Main Street preceded by young teens dressed as the nativity to the Catholic Church all the while singing more carols. It was great fun to try and stay together both by foot and in song.
Once the caroling completed Eileen and I walked to the Chamber of Commerce to participate in the Holiday Raffle. On the way we saw the children lining up out front of The Strand Movie Theater waiting the arrival of Santa Claus via one of the town fire trucks. The children were all snuggled up in their coats, hats and mittens, quietly shuffling to keep warm. When we arrived to the Chamber of Commerce we had choice of two set prices for tickets, all the proceeds to be used for holiday gifts for the needy in the community. With the string of tickets purchased it was time to go from basket to basket deciding which pail next to each basket to add our tickets to. There must have been 30 baskets from food items to things for your dogs’ holiday. It was hard to decide!
Once we examined all the baskets and made our choices it was then time to move onto the Community Church to hear a small sample of the holiday concert the kids from the Schroon Lake School had performed earlier in the week. The first part was two numbers from the band and then a couple of choir numbers. The children were cute all nervous and excited performing.
At the completion of the mini-concert, being a bit cold we then moved onto the Senior Community Center for some cookies and hot chocolate for me. It was the first time to see the interior of the center. The building was good sized with a large main area set up with tables and a food-servicing island near the kitchen. Next to that area was a computer room. I’m not sure what was on the second floor. The schedule for the center looked busy with a variety of activities almost everyday and their own bus for travel trips.
Of course we then had to stop across the street to check out the kids doing their crafts, at the Towne Store. There was a volunteer from the Lions Club who greeted folks as they came in the door we asked about the work they do in the community. While growing up in Michigan in my hometown there was a very active Lions Club. When I was 19, I spent the summer in Europe as an exchange student in Belgium through a program sponsored by the Lions Club. It was interesting to learn that they now have female members too, which was not the case when I was younger. The Lions Club was just starting their winter raffle for when the ice would break in the spring on Schroon Lake. Of course at that point the ice was just getting starting to form across the lake and there were not yet any icehouses for fishing to be seen.
For our final activity that evening we went to a hand bell choir concert in the Community Church. It was a beautiful performance; I know how tough it was to play the bells as a group, in college I participated in an event where one of my friends recruited a bunch of us to learn to play the hand bells. We practiced and practiced to get the timing right, so that what was played actually sounded like a song. It was such a thrill that evening when we pulled it off. So I could really appreciate the choir’s work to perform several carols.
As we were leaving for the evening we stopped by the theatre to see if we could sneak a peek at good ole Santa Claus. He had just left but his chair or should I say throne and one of his sleds was sitting down at the front of the stage. We were told by one of his elves that Santa had seen 130 kids! It was a nice way to end our evening.
(c) 2013 Jelane A. Kennedy