Sunday, December 3, 2023

Ashland's Old Fashioned Christmas Shines with Delightful Blend of Tradition and Community Cheer

Hosted by the Ashland Rotary Club, the town of Ashland came alive Saturday with the spirit of the season during its annual Old Fashioned Christmas event. Residents and visitors gathered to participate in a day filled with joy and holiday cheer.
The festivities kicked off with a sweet start as participants showcased their creativity in the Gingerbread House Contest. 

One of the highlights of the day was the Santa Parade, led by the Ashland Police, Fire Department, Ashland Rotary, and the Cornerstone Health Clinic. The parade, starting at 2:30 pm, followed down Walnut Street to Hoffman Boulevard, where excited children eagerly awaited Santa's arrival at the Mother's Memorial. Children had the chance to deliver their letters to Santa in person and receive gift bags from the jolly old man himself. The height of the parade was Santa's official lighting of the borough Christmas Tree at the intersection of Hoffman Boulevard and Centre Street.

From 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, families were treated to free Christmas Train Rides on the Lokie at Pioneer Tunnel, providing a magical journey to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus.

The Ashland Rotary continued the holiday merriment from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the American Legion. The event offered a range of activities, including free horse-drawn carriage rides, complimentary hot dogs, popcorn, and hot cocoa. Delicious baked goods generously provided by Bethany EC Church and the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. The Schuylkill Drama Club performed for the crowd with Christmas Carols, dressed in Victorian attire. Ashland Fire Chief Phil Groody added to the festive atmosphere with two readings of "Twas the Night Before Christmas." Attendees also had the opportunity to explore the Winterwalk Train Display at no cost.

In addition to the festive celebrations, attendees had the chance to tour the newly renovated Ashland Jail, closed for decades. The Ashland Historical Society has been restoring the building to its original early 1900s appearance.

The culmination of the event included the announcement of the contest winners:

House Decorating Contest:
  • 1st Place: Rosemarie Noon residence at 136 W. Centre St., Ashland with 283 votes
  • 2nd Place: Kaylee Petritsch at 35 Paul St., Ashland with 275 votes
  • Honorable Mention: Bill & Lori Evans at 16 S. 23rd St., Ashland with 106 votes

Gingerbread House Building Contest:
  • 1st Place: Evan and Heidi Quinn
  • 2nd Place: Rosemary and Matthew Schachte
  • 3rd Place: Jennifer Matt and Lucas Savakinas

Cavalcade of Trees:
  • 1st Place: Pioneer Tunnel
  • 2nd Place: Ashland American Legion
  • 3rd Place: Cornerstone Health

Santa Parade Best of Show:
  • Washington Fire Company
The event proved to be the largest in years drawing hundreds of people to join in the Christmas cheer.

Story/Photos/Video by J. Reed / Skook News