FOLLANSBEE - Fall is here, and Christmas isn't far away, and a local festival offers area residents a chance to enjoy the cooler autumn weather while preparing for the holiday season.
In its 10th year, Follansbee Christmas in the Park will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 13 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 14 at Follansbee Park.
Vendors at the park will be selling a variety of handmade crafts and other items, including many fall- and Christmas-themed decorations and an assortment of food.
FESTIVAL PLANNERS — Finalizing details for the 10th-annual Follansbee Christmas in the Park festival front, from left, co-chairs Kathy Santoro and Bill Secrist; and back, Dave Secrist, Nina Meca, Stacey Williams and Terri Hicks. Meca and Williams are holding Steelers tickets that will be among prizes for drawings held during the event set Oct. 13-14 at Follansbee Park. -- Warren Scott
Kathy Santoro, who co-chairs the event with Bill Secrist, said the longer hours on Saturday are in response to requests from several vendors and to give attendees a chance to see the Christmas lights strung along the park's grounds by volunteers Paul DiGiacinto and Joe Mattello.
Fifth-graders from Follansbee Middle School will hang decorations made by children from Jefferson and Hooverson Heights primary schools throughout the park.
A variety of holiday music will be provided by a disc jockey and local choirs, and a live nativity will be presented at 6 p.m. by children and adults from the Weirton Christian Center.
Santa Claus will appear on both days. Snowbird from WTOV-TV also is slated to appear at about noon Saturday, and horse-drawn carriage rides through the park and the city's Orchard section will be offered.
The 8th Pennsylvania Regiment, an American Revolution re-enactment group, and a local Boy Scout troop are planning to set up camp at the park also.
The park is behind Follansbee Middle School, which faces state Route 2.
Parking is adjacent to the park, and restrooms can be found at the Follansbee Community House, where local law enforcement and emergency officials and representatives of other groups will offer free information.
A representative of Hood's Pharmacy also is slated to provide flu vaccinations during the weekend.
There also will be a 50-50 drawing and drawings for a holiday basket, a basket containing donations from the participating vendors and a Pittsburgh Steelers package, which includes four tickets to the Dec. 30 Steelers-Browns game, with seats in the East Club section and a parking pass for the Gold Section.
Proceeds from the festival go to local charities, including the R.E.A.C.H. Program, a local food pantry; the Anderson Children's Home; and a local student with special medical needs.
(Scott can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)