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Christmas and ' New Years Guide December 5, 2018 Brought to you by the Chester County Press

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Oxford celebrates the holidays with its Country Christmas on Dec. 7 By Steven Hoffman Staff Writer At last year’s Country Christmas celebration in Oxford, one of the highlights was when the large crowd gathered around for the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree and everyone joined in to sing “Silent Night.” It was a quiet moment filled with tradition and Christmas cheer in the midst of a busy evening of family-friendly activities. This year, the Country Christmas celebration takes place on Friday, Dec. 7, and the evening will again be filled with holiday festivities that will be sure to get everyone in the Christmas spirit. Country Christmas is always one of Oxford’s biggest and best events, and organizers with Oxford Mainstreet, Inc. (OMI) have spent months planning the event. Mary Lou Baily, the Main Street Manager for OMI, said that there will be something for everyone at the event. After his arrival, Santa will be posing for pictures with

The live Nativity on The Green at the Oxford Presbyterian Church.

Photos by Steven Hoffman

children at KVIS & Coe Insurance on Third Street. Children can share their Christmas wishes with Santa while parents can take photos of their children. There will be plenty of Christmas music throughout the town. The Christian Life Center will be performing on their mobile stage. Baily said that the Lincoln University Choir will also be performing during the evening. Horse-drawn carriage rides, always a favorite during Country Christmas, will be offered for $5. There will also be free hayrides, thanks to the sponsorship of the Soap Bucket. Those who go on the hayrides will have a good view of the entries in this year’s home-decorating contest, and can even vote for their favorites. The winners of the home-decorating contest will receive a gift basket that includes gift cards to downtown Oxford shops. • There will also be a Santa’s Workshop, indoor this year, where children can make crafts. • Performers from the Oxford Center of Dance will be featured. • A live nativity will once again be staged by the Oxford Presbyterian Church. • The shops and restaurants in downtown, all festively decorated, will be open late. “We also have a lot more vendors signed up this year,” Baily said.

There is always plenty of holiday cheer at Oxford’s Country Christmas. You might even run into an elf or two during the event.

Regular attendees of Oxford Country Christmas will have a favorite activity or attraction during the event. Baily said that she really likes the tree-lighting celebration and the sing-along afterward. “It really brings the whole community together,” she said. Oxford Country Christmas takes place in downtown Oxford from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 7.

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Spectators bundle up for Kennett Square Borough’s Holiday Light Parade By Chris Barber Correspondent In one way or another, Kennett Square has historically found ways to celebrate the start of holiday shopping, the arrival of Santa Claus and the lighting of the town tree. For the past decade or so, a parade has kicked off the local celebration. And more recently, the addition of lights to vehicles has made the day after Thanksgiving a glowing procession to behold.

Moving eastward on State Street on Friday evening, Nov. 23 (counter to its otherwise one-way west restriction), the Holiday Light Parade attracted several thousand visitors who lined both sides of the street from Lafayette to Broad. It was cold, but the temperatures that were just below freezing did not seem to bother those who came to watch. Even parents with young children and infants found ways to blunt the sting of the frigid air. All along the way were kids in strollers swathed in blankets and young children in puffy jackets, not appearing to have a care in the world about the cold.

Santa and Mrs. Claus greet spectators at the Kennett Square Light Parade on Friday.

Photos by Chris Barber

Members of the Kennett High School Band Front wave candy canes instead of flags for this parade.

Antique vehicle collector and restorer Lou Mandich drives Santa and Mrs. Claus into town in his 1918 Buick.

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Longwood Performing Arts dancers for a circle in the middle of town and entertain Light Parade spectators.

Beholding the light-laden vehicles that traversed the route, one had to wonder where all that electricity came from. The driver of one bus said it took more power than merely hooking up to the truck’s cigarette lighter. “We have a generator in the back,” he said. He added that he assumed that was the case for all those brightly lit cars, trucks and wagons. The parade was choreographed to spotlight the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus. Another highlight was the lighting of the town tree, which began around 6 p.m. Even before that time, however, the borough was alive with music, souvenir venders, and diners enjoying dinner at the local restaurants. Kennett Square Borough Mayor Matt Fetick announced the start of the fun and the high-stepping performance by holiday-garbed dancers from Longwood Performing Arts. They did their show twice: once on the west side of Union Street and once on the east side in front of La Verona. With the mood properly set, the lighted vehicles drove up the street, one after the

other. Some were from local businesses, some from non-profit groups, and others from families like the Manfredis, who simply got together and made themselves a glowing wagon. The parade was led by the Kennett High School Band and concluded by Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus (friends of Fran and Andrea Durynski) traveling in the back seat of Lou Mandich’s 1918 Buick. “It’s his centennial,” he said of the car. When the Clauses entered the center of Kennett Square, there was cheering from the crowd, and children reached out their hands to them. With their arrival came the countdown for the lighting of the tree, and then the children had the chance to mingle with the Christmas couple. The Light Parade was the beginning of a month of activities in Kennett Square, many of which are being orchestrated by Historic Kennett Square, the borough’s Main Street organization.

Looking down State Street, the parade of light-draped trucks seemed endless.

Kids along the parade route showed no signs of cold as they were bundled up warmly ahead of time.

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The Kennett High School Band leads the parade up State Street.

A float of family and friends rides up State Street with its occupants waving to the crowd.

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Toughkenamon celebrates the holidays Despite a persistent threat of heavy rain, the skies above the Village of Toughkenamon cleared for a few hours on Dec. 1 to welcome hundreds of families to a tree lighting ceremony that officially ushered in the holiday season. The village was alive with the sounds of holiday carols from the choruses of Bancroft and New Garden elementary schools, and for those adults who needed a

The Tanner family of Landenberg bundled up to enjoy the festivities.

beverage break, the Harvest Ridge Winery served a bountiful supply of its many varietals, and additional beverages and treats were enjoyed at Shear Satisfaction. Moments after the Christmas tree was lit beneath the Toughkenamon Village tower, Santa Claus arrived courtesy of the Avondale Fire Company and heard the holiday gift wishes of boys and girls of all ages.

The choruses from the Bancroft and New Garden elementary schools entertained the crowd with renditions of favorite holiday carols during the tree lighting ceremony in the Village of Toughkenamon on Dec. 1.

Photos by Richard L. Gaw

Kristi May Wyatt and Jessy Whitestone of the Harvest Ridge Winery.

Craig Znotens and his daughter Sadie of Landenberg patiently awaited the arrival of Santa Claus.

A popular resident of the North Pole arrived in the Village of Toughkenamon, to large applause and a long list of holiday gift wishes.

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2018 Christmas & New Year's Guide  
2018 Christmas & New Year's Guide