Crafty elf Skye Gregson (center) teaches youngsters attending the Christmas in Warrensburg event how to fashion a traditional toy. The holiday festival, which featured new attractions, drew a large crowd both Dec. 7 and Dec. 8. Watching Gregson at work are (clockwise from left): Carrick Wright, 7; Jason Duprey, 12; Kyrstin Riddle, 14; Jordan Mallory, 10; and (right): Michael Riddle, 10.
Timothy Wright looked at his father Dave Wright dressed up as Santa Claus, sitting in a wagon Dec. 7 in front of the Warrensburg Town Hall, listening intently to one child after another share their Christmas wishes. The elder Wright prompted one child after another to voice their thoughts and holiday expectations.
Wright’s expertise as Santa was not lost on his son, who had toured the various attractions of Christmas in Warrensburgh — including the children’s craft workshops inside the town hall — and said he was impressed.
“This event is the most amazing holiday celebration, he said, looking over the town hall filled with dozens of children working on an array of craft projects.
Various people throughout town offered similar sentiments, as the events and activities were increased for 2013, the 25th anniversary of the hometown holiday fest.
North on Main St. was another attraction that drew many local residents and visitors — a Living Nativity, with parishioners of three local churches posing as shepherds, wise men, Mary and Joseph attending the birth of Jesus.
Several dozen members of the local Free Methodist, United Methodist and Presbyterian churches took half-hour shifts as actors in the holy scenario. Church members also crafted the authentic-looking costumes, and Pete Redfield of the Warrensburg First Presbyterian Church built the creche out of timber from his back yard, according to Nancy Barrows of the local Free Methodist Church. She and Ricci Redfield, Pete’s wife, organized the Living Nativity along with Stephen Andrews of the Warrensburg First United Methodist Church of Warrensburg. The scene was complete with baby goats and a donkey provided by Nettle Meadow Farm in Thurman, Christmas in Warrensburg founder Teresa Whalen said.
“It was a wonderful, uplifting addition to the community celebration,” Barrows said. “It helped people reflect on the deeper meaning of Christmas and what love is all about.”
Farther up Main St., various artisans had their crafts set up on tables at the annual festival’s new Indoor Holiday Market in the town senior center.
Out on the porch, Mary Landenberger spun wool to be used in her handcrafted goods, including her free-form felted scarves. Earlier in the day, wreath-making workshops had been conducted on the porch. Inside, her mother Pat Leonard signed and sold copies of her book “Tranfiguration.”
Nearby, Donna Wormwood had a display of her intriguing, intricate miniature Adirondack camp furniture, made of tiny twigs, acorn caps, dried moss, bark and other natural items she painstakingly collects in the woods. Penny Down of West Mountain offered an array of her crocheted rugs, and Maureen Tuttle of Warrensburg demonstrated her “tatting” skills as she wove lace doilies and other similar goods while people watched.
Michelle Whitefield of Whitefield’s Farm manned a display of their naturally-raised meats. Julie Gallup Harrington, of J. Gallup Farm in Warrensburg, sold her baked goods and pickles. Kay Allen of Thurman displayed and sold her Raggedy Ann dolls, ranging from miniatures to three feet tall.
Sunday, Mike Irish of Warrensburg and Joshua Kerr of Broadalbin carved tree trunks into fanciful natural creatures in front of the local home furnishings store, The Bear Cupboard.
Both children and adults enjoyed mule-drawn wagon rides uptown, courtesy of Our Simple Life Farm.
The church bazaars, tree lighting ceremony, Breakfasts with Santa and other activities were also well appreciated.
Whalen said she was particularly impressed by the concert of carols and religious anthems sung at a concert presented by Jim Corriveau and Friends. Corriveau is the drama coach and vocal instructor at Warrensburg High School.
Whalen said she was touched when the audience spontaneously joined Corriveau’s group in singing carols.
“It was so magical,” Whalen said.
The day was complete for Whalen, she said, when she went home and saw a local resident post photos and comments on Facebook.
“She said she loved how Christmas was celebrated in our little town, and that sums it up for me,” Whalen said. “....With togetherness, in the true spirit of the holiday.”