Bellefonte’s annual Victorian Christmas 'brings a warmth'

bmilazzo@centredaily.comDecember 14, 2013 

BFVictorianOpen1

Kennedy Dance Musical Theatre Group performs a segment from Hansel and Gretel during the opening ceremony for Bellefonte Victorian Christmas on Friday at the Bellefonte Elementary School.

ABBY DREY — CDT photo Buy Photo

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    Saturday

    •  Breakfast with Santa & Victorian Christmas children’s party, 8:30-11:30 a.m., Lambert Hall, Blanchard Street

    •  Arts and crafts show, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Bellefonte Middle School, Bellefonte YMCA, Bellefonte Elementary School and East High Street near Centre County Courthouse

    •  Model train display, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., middle school gym

    •  Better Book and Craft Sale, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Centre County Library and Historical Museum, 203 N. Allegheny St.

    •  Shuttle bus service, 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Bellefonte middle and high schools

    •  Ancient Echoes concert, 10 a.m., Trinity United Methodist Church, 128 W. Howard St.

    •  Girl Scout Little House tours, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., behind Centre County Library

    •  Penn State Brass Quintet, 11 a.m., Trinity United Methodist Church

    •  Horse-drawn carriage rides, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

    •  Art sales, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Bellefonte Art Museum, 133 N. Allegheny St.

    •  St. John Evangelist Folk Choir concert, noon, Trinity United Methodist Church

    •  Santa’s House open, noon-4 p.m., Diamond

    •  A Child’s Victorian Tea, 1 p.m., 3 p.m., Bellefonte Art Museum

    •  Children’s activities, 1-4 p.m., Bellefonte Middle School gym

    •  Quintessential (Penn State Graduate Woodwind Quintet), 1 p.m., Trinity United Methodist Church

    •  Victorian High Tea, 1 p.m., 3 p.m., Reynolds Mansion, 101 W. Linn St.

    •  Callanish concert, 2 p.m., Trinity United Methodist Church

    •  Historic Downtown Walking Tour, 2 p.m., Centre County Courthouse

    •  Toot-in-Common concert, 3 p.m., Trinity United Methodist Church

    •  Homes Tour, 2-7 p.m., nine stops around Bellefonte

    •  A Fezziwig’s Christmas Party and Family Buffet, 6 p.m., American Philatelic Society Building

    •  Bellefonte Community Band concert, 7:30 p.m., Bellefonte Elementary School, Allegheny and Linn streets

    Sunday

    •  Shuttle bus service, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

    •  Arts and crafts show, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Bellefonte Middle School, Bellefonte YMCA, Bellefonte Elementary School and East High Street near Centre County Courthouse

    •  Model train display, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Bellefonte Middle School gym

    •  Horse-drawn carriage rides, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

    •  Santa’s House open, noon-4 p.m., Diamond

    •  Art sales, noon-5 p.m., Bellefonte Art Museum

    •  Organ recital, 1 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 203 N. Spring St.

    •  Victorian High Tea, 1 p.m., 3 p.m., Reynolds Mansion

    •  Children’s activities, 1-4 p.m., Bellefonte Middle School

    •  Historic Downtown Walking Tour, 2 p.m., Centre County Courthouse

    •  Victorian Christmas Handbell Choir, 2 p.m., Trinity United Methodist Church

    •  A Child’s Victorian Tea, 2 p.m., Bellefonte Art Museum

    •  Nittany Valley Symphony Youth Choir, 3 p.m., Trinity United Methodist Church

    •  Bellefonte Victorian Christmas Community Choir concert, 7:30 p.m., Bellefonte Area High School

— It may not have been Christmas morning, but Ebenezer Scrooge lost his bah humbug for the Bellefonte Victorian Christmas kickoff on Friday.

Thick British accents could be heard a block away from the Bellefonte Elementary School, as actors from Dickens & Company offered a “Happy Christmas” to guests, including director Brian Belge as Scrooge himself.

Others dressed as characters from Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” didn’t break character at all.

Friday night was the kickoff to the annual tradition known as Bellefonte Victorian Christmas.

As Scrooge and his clan of characters welcomed visitors at the front doors to the elementary school, the Bellefonte Community Band played classic holiday songs like “O Tannenbaum” near the steps of the entrance.

Sheryl Jo Burnaby took her grandkids to the official event opening of Bellefonte Victorian Christmas and said this was the kind of activity that gets her in the yuletide mood.

“It’s cold outside, but it brings a warmth to your heart to see community involvement this time of year,” Burnaby said.

Inside, performances included the Nittany Knights Barbershop Chorus, the Bellefonte Elementary fourth and fifth grade choir, the middle school women’s chorale, the St. John’s Elementary School choir and other performance groups.

Ten-year-old Ava Seigworth, a Bellefonte Elementary fourth-grader, said she was excited to perform with the Kennedy Dance Center as the company’s lone Sleep Fairy during an act from “Hansel and Gretel.”

“It’s fun to do this during Christmas and at my school,” she said.

Joan Kennedy-Kirkpatrick said that 14 girls from the area performed Friday night as part of a group called “Kennedy’s Kids.”

Belge, the producer and director of the Dickens Holiday Show, got the biggest response Friday.

“This is our favorite,” said Bellefonte resident JoAnn Winter.

She explained that each year, she and group of friends get together with their families and make a night of Bellefonte Victorian Christmas, hoping to see the Dickens Holiday Show.

Belge, originally from Syracuse, N.Y., and now of Lititz, has been playing Scrooge since 1987 and has been a part of Victorian Christmas for four years.

“You see, people just love it,” Belge said in a English accent while he urged guests to call him “Uncle Eby.”

Britney Milazzo can be reached at 231-4648. Follow her on Twitter @ M11azzo.

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