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Maplesville celebrates Christmas with annual event

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Favorite carols and Christmas songs filled the air during the annual Old Fashioned Christmas in Maplesville on Dec. 1.

The temporary stage featured a variety of talent for attendees to enjoy as they stopped to watch or simply listened to the music as they enjoyed holiday-themed activities and free food.

Cheryl Holmes, one of the members of the organizing team, said the wind prevented them from having some of the things that had been planned. However, there was still plenty to do.

“We had more participation from businesses,” Holmes said.

The unity of various groups in the community coming together is her favorite part of the event, Holmes said.

Crafts stations gave children the opportunity to create ornaments. Other booths featured games. There was even an area for “snowball” fights.

The Maplesville Public Library was giving away books.

Hot chocolate, popcorn, nachos, cotton candy and cookies were also available at different stations. Bryanna Leigh said the cotton candy was her favorite.

Shelby Price said she enjoyed “making the ornaments and getting the candy.” She had chosen a sloth with a festive hat for her ornament.

“My favorite part was the candy and the snowballs,” Katie Bennett said.

She also enjoyed meeting The Grinch.

“We are from Maplesville … and they asked us last year,” Ronny Rigsby of Homestead, one of the music groups that performed, said.  “What we enjoy about it is just the community — being a part of the community.”

He said the group chose to perform many of the same songs as last year at the event. He said songs are chosen based on what “sounds good with our vocals and our style of playing.”

For some attendees, it was their first time at the event.

This was the case for Dustin Moberg, general manager at West Fraser Maplesville plant. He was part of a team manning a table giving away West Fraser cups and other goodies. Moberg said he wanted to participate to “support the community.”

“I’m enjoying the turnout,” Moberg said. “I can’t believe how many people actually showed up.”

Dawn Wallace was also attending for the first time with her daughter’s Girl Scout Troop.

“This is our community service,” Wallace said. “So, we decided to set up a booth and give back to the community.”

She said the moms of the Girl Scouts developed the idea and took turns running the game. The Girl Scouts had helped setting up the game and getting the prize packets of hot chocolate together. Wallace said she enjoyed “the fellowship and just seeing everyone having fun at the event.

“The friendliness of everybody has been awesome and just the fact that everything is free — the spirit of giving,” Jackie Penley, who was also a first-time attendee, said.

Jeremy Penley said he enjoyed “the camaraderie of the town coming together.”

“The Christmas spirit has been great,” Jeremy Penley said.

Holmes said the event will be “back again next year bigger and better.”