Despite tough economic times and the nearly ubiquitous pressure of purchasing expensive gifts, the Christmas spirit of giving is alive and well in the Village of Angola. It’s exactly that spirit of giving that the 13th annual “Christmas in the Village” hopes to engender in area residents who participate in the various activities scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 8., said Joan Houston, president of Friends of the Village, Inc. and a member of the steering committee who set up the events.
“It’s for the greater good,” she said. “Our village is small and it struggles in a tough economy, and we do this to help. Many, many people appreciate what is done.”
The festivities kick-off at 9 a.m. at the J.T. Waugh School, located at 100 High St., with a free hot breakfast with Santa for children. Santa, who originally arrived to the event on a horse-drawn sleigh when it began 13 years ago, now arrives on a fire truck, after the sleigh wasn’t able to make it at the last minute several years ago.
“Firemen have gotten into the act,” Houston said.
Along with bringing Santa to the event, the firemen also provide fire truck rides to children around the village. This has grown into one of the more popular events at “Christmas in the Village,” Houston said.
Children will also be able to visit with Santa from 9 to 11 a.m., and have a picture taken. Digital photos will be available for a small fee, and parents can bring their own cameras if they wish to bypass the fee.
Other events include Hollie Daze the clown, who will be in gymnasium one from 9 a.m. to noon, children’s bingo in the cafeteria from 11 to 11:30 a.m., a Christmas sing-a-long in the auditorium from 11:30 a.m. to noon and “The Town That Santa Forgot,” a children’s Christmas video, will be showing in the auditorium from noon to 12:30 p.m. Nels Ross will end the day at the J.T Waugh School with a performance of his “In Jest” comedy variety show in the auditorium from 12:30 to 1 p.m.
The Evans Township Lions Club will also be setting up and operating a fully insured and staffed bounce house in gymnasium two from 9 a.m. to noon.
Cards will be available for children and adults to sign that will be sent to members of the Armed Forces serving overseas.
“We want to remember our troops,” Houston said.
Several businesses in the village will be offering special deals and services in conjunction with “Christmas in the Village,” including Dan’s Restaurant, located at 69 N. Main St., Unique Sweets, located at 59 N. Main St. and Taste of the Midway, located at 97 N. main St. The New Angola Theater, located at 72 N. Main St. will be playing “Rise of the Guardians” for $5 general admission, which includes a free box of popcorn, at 2 p.m.
Children interested in writing a letter to Santa can do so at the Angola Public Library, from noon to 3 p.m. All letters will be individually answered.
While the day is sure to be fun for children and parents alike, Houston hopes the sight of area residents working together for the community inspires more people to get involved with the community, and carry on the spirit of Christmas.
“ The event is based on the volunteer spirit, which is alive and well in the Village of Angola,” she said.