Festival a chance to do early holiday shopping

FOLLANSBEE – Area residents will have an opportunity to do a little early Christmas shopping, enjoy a stroll through the park and a bite to eat at Follansbee Christmas in the Park next weekend.

The festivities will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 12 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 13 at the park, which is behind Follansbee Middle School off state Route 2.

Kathy Santoro, who co-chairs the event with Bill Secrist, said hours for the first day were expanded last year to allow more people to see the park decked out in Christmas lights.

Each year volunteers with the Follansbee Christmas in the Park committee and children with local schools decorate the park in holiday-style. Adding to its Christmas spirit is holiday music from various eras played by a disc jockey.

The festivities also include an appearance by Santa Claus at 1 p.m. on both days and a live nativity by children and adults with the Weirton Christian Center and Follansbee Church of Christ on Saturday evening.

Santoro said the park’s paved walkway will be lined with vendors selling handmade fall and Christmas decorations and other items that would make unique Christmas gifts.

She said in the holiday spirit of giving to others, especially those less fortunate, proceeds from a handful of drawings held at the event will go to the Follansbee R.E.A.C.H. Program, a local food pantry; Anderson Children’s Home, which is home to several children and adults with mental and physical impairments; and a local child with special medical needs.

Prizes for the drawings include four club seats for the Steelers-Browns game and a Gold Lot parking pass; four tickets to the Pittsburgh Penguins-Toronto Maple Leafs game; and a basket filled with items donated by the festival’s vendors.

There also will be a 50-50 drawing.

Last year Christmas in the Park raised more than $2,000 for the food pantry, children’s home and the family of a local boy with leukemia.

There also will be free information shared by a variety of police and emergency departments and community organizations at the Follansbee Park Community House, where restrooms and parking are easily accessible.

There is no cost for admission or parking.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com)