Birdsboro will come together on Saturday, Dec. 8 for the fourth annual Christmas in Birdsboro celebration. And while construction to replace the bridge over the Hay Creek on Main Street is forcing a change in some of the logistics for the event, there will be no change in the fun and spirit of the event.
Crafts, food, music, carriage and trolley rides and visits with Santa all lead up to the highlight of the day – the lighting of the community Christmas Tree in Main Bird Park. New this year will be a fireworks display, which will follow the tree lighting.
The fun actually begins at Noon, with the annual craft show in the Birdsboro Memorial Community Center, 200 East Main Street. The craft show runs until 7 p.m. and will feature crafts from 40 vendors, as well as cookie decoration, face painting and food.
According to Birdsboro Parks and Recreation Board chairman Gloria Uhniat, there will also be a raffle, which will include a quilt and items donated by each crafter. Uhniat said proceeds from the raffle will help the Community Center pay its fuel bill.
Starting at 5 p.m. – activities will kick off in the park. Uhniat said new this year in addition to the fireworks display will be Santa’s Workshop, from 6 to 8 p.m. Santa’s gingerbread house will be set up at the gazebo, and visitors can have their photo taken with Santa. Also new this year will be a children’s train ride - set up in the VFW parking lot. Both activities will charge a nominal fee.
“Everybody in town participates – the churches, the community center, the Boy Scout troops, the lions club and all the community organizations,” Uhniat said. “I think that after the things that have happened this year - like hurricane Sandy – this event is something people need. Children need this kind of continuity and there’s something special to celebrate with their families.”
Among the entertainment will be the Daniel Boone Middle School Select Chorus, the Birdsboro Elementary Center Band and Chorus, the Amity Intermediate Center Chorus and the Daniel Boone High School Select Chorus.
“Community organizations will be serving food in Main Bird Park – hot dogs, hamburgers, cookies, hot chocolate, cider, funnel cakes, soft drinks, fries and much more,” Uhniat added.
At 8:15 p.m., all attention will turn to the tree lighting ceremony, which will be immediately followed by the fireworks display, which Durso estimated will last 10 to 15 minutes.
Carriage rides through Birdsboro will be available for a fee, and free trolley rides are also being offered. Also featured will be the live nativity at the Church of the Nazarene.
One of the highlights of the Christmas in Birdsboro celebration is the community lighting contest.
“There will be seven first place winners, with each of them receiving $250, and one grand prize winner for $500,” Uhniat added. “They do not have to sign up, they just have to decorate. Our judges will be around prior to Dec. 8, within about 48 hours. And they will make the announcement that night.”
Uhniat and Birdsboro Borough Manager Aaron Durso admitted that the bridge construction will be a bit of an inconvenience, but won’t change the atmosphere. And both said there was never a chance the event would be cancelled this year.
“The event is more about the community, about family,” Durso said. “Next year we’ll have a big party on the bridge. The biggest concern was whether we could we pull it off with the bridge out. More people would have been upset if we didn’t have it.”
As in past years, visitors can park at Daniel Boone High School and take one of the free trolleys to the park. Uhniat added that there will be some parking in town – at the bank across from Borough Hall and on the streets.
“But it’s probably best to park at the high school,” she added. “There is free parking, and the trolley will run from 4 to 9 p.m. It’s probably the easiest way to go.”
Proceeds from Christmas in Birdsboro help to defray the cost of the lighting and help support the borough’s Summer Playground program. More than 4,000 people attended last year’s event.
The Boone Area Library has a day of events to coincide with Christmas I Birdsboro. Holidays in the Library runs fron 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature a breakfast with Santa from 9 to 11 a.m., musical performances by the Birdsboro Elementary Center band and the Amity Intermediate Center band, Mike Kropp singing holiday songs, make an ornament and a craft and gift raffle. Tickets for the breakfast can be purchased at the library.