For more than 20 years, the Boalsburg Hometown Christmas event has been bringing the joys of the holiday season to Harris Township.
The festivities return to town this year Dec. 5-6, offering the food, carriage rides and caroling the community has come to love and expect.
Friday brings the Taste of Boalsburg dinner, a fundraiser to support the following day’s events, Hometown Christmas committee member Chris Igo said. The dinner, at the Boalsburg Fire Company, features food items donated by Boalsburg restaurants and usually draws a crowd of about 75 people.
“It’s just a nice event to get to know fellow Boalsburg residents and people who support Boalsburg,” she said. “But more importantly, it helps us offset some of the costs associated with the next phase.”
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Last year’s cookie contest drew about 40 entries, Igo said. Each person making a submission is encouraged to bake about five cookies as an entry plate and about two dozen to be sold the following day. The cookies are judged that evening, and the winner is announced at breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus the next day.
Cookie contest entries can be dropped off at the Boalsburg Heritage Museum between 2 and 6 p.m., she said.
The Saturday celebration is “just a great family day to celebrate Boalsburg and the merchants,” Igo said.
The day opens with the breakfast with Santa, Igo said. There’s also a drawing competition for kids, which can be entered by age group.
“Those pictures are just unbelievable,” she said. “These are some talented kids.”
The pictures are displayed at the fire hall, Igo said, with the winners receiving gift certificates to Michaels art store. Colonial Press, in Boalsburg, makes the winning pictures into note cards, which are sold during the event, helping to offset the costs of Hometown Christmas.
Igo recommends the children’s sing-along with Kathy DiMuccio and children’s story time with Robin Moore.
Moore, an award-winning professional storyteller from Doylestown and the author of 14 story collections and other books, has made appearances in the area before. DiMuccio heads the Music Together music classes in State College.
Carols will be sung at the community tree on the Diamond, Igo said, with the lighting of the tree. Santa will arrive on a Company 3 fire truck to meet Mrs. Claus and light the tree.
Igo said it was hard for her to pick a favorite event, but settled on the Restless Winds carriage rides, pulled by horses Herbie and Nathan.
“The whole thing is so family friendly,” she said. “We’re so blessed to be part of a community that is so supportive of this event.”