By NICOLE GUGINO
OBSERVER Staff Writer
The Miracle on Main Street Festival, the last of Fredonia's festivals for the year, arrived on a chilly but cheery afternoon Saturday.
Miracle on Main Street
A crowd was building in Barker Common around noon to watch the women's acapella group, Some Like it Hot, from SUNY Fredonia perform carols and other upbeat jingles. The tree lighting was soon under way and began with a speech from Fredonia Mayor Michael Sullivan.
"Thanks to Some Like it Hot; thanks to all for coming today," he said. He also encouraged the audience to experience local businesses and to "think of them not only today but through the whole holiday season and the rest of the year."
Santa, Mayor Sullivan and his son, Joshua, lit the tree in the Gazebo to "oohs" from the crowd.
OBSERVER?Photo by Nicole Gugino
From left: Matthew Brown, Calder Annear, Sebastian Puglisi and Jessica Sinclair have fun with Frosty the snowman and Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer at the Fredonia Grange Saturday during Miracle on Main Street.
"This is such a nice thing. It's a chance to get people downtown, from one end to the other. People can take advantage of what is downtown; the shopping opportunities in Fredonia are tremendous. You can certainly find something for everyone on your shopping list," Sullivan added as Some Like it Hot resumed their holiday singing.
This event marked the second Jingle Bell 5K Run and once again displayed local artists' works at businesses around the village. At the Teen Center in the village hall, Patrick Del Monte, a wood worker from Forestville, displayed his beautiful wood bowls along with several other artists working in other mediums like photography and painting.
"I only use wood from Western New York. Sometimes I turn bowls out of trees that have fallen down in people's yards. I am still turning bowls from the October (2006) storm," Del Monte said.
Moving on to another of the many events planned for the festival, the Telecommunications Society of Fredonia Museum had a new treat for kids. The museum has participated in Miracle on Main Street in the past but new this year, kids could write and send a telegram to Santa at his workshop.
Kids and their parents could take a red telegram, write their message, sign their names and then one of the helpful elves would connect to Santa's workshop and send the message in Morse code. Rumor has it that the children that sent a telegram to Santa will be hearing back from good old St. Nick.
"We are bringing something old to the new generation. In the age of text messaging, the kids are amazed a the way messages used to be sent," society member Nancy Miller said.
Following skipping children up the street to the Fredonia Grange, there was a vast difference from the cold, quiet outside and the warm din that was the party inside. Children crowded the tables to do holiday crafts, made music along with the accompaniment of a pianist and sat on Santa's lap.
Santa wasn't just at the Grange but also visited the Gazebo for the tree lighting, the telecommunications museum and finally ended up at the Grange with a flurry of children. Santa was not alone but was joined by his friends Frosty the snowman and Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, who gave hugs and high-fives to kids.
Conducting crafts were the fraternity of Delta Chi from SUNY Fredonia. Nate Zager, vice president of Delta Chi said, "This is our favorite community service event all year long. We have 25 people here helping out."
The Miracle on Main Street had something for everybody, including a free screening of 'A Christmas Carol' at the Fredonia Opera House.