Unseasonably warm weather was a welcome respite for those who gathered on the village green in Peebles for the 19th annual lighting of the town’s Christmas tree on Saturday, Dec. 5. Despite Saturday’s major power outage in Peebles, over 100 people attended the event, which is sponsored by the Peebles Area Business Association (PABA). The event also featured a living nativity scene occupied by members of the local Church of God.
Pastor Phil Fulton welcomed those attending, and Marlyn (Popeye) Davis offered up the opening prayer.
PABA member Sharon Malcom told the Defender, “We have a wonderful tight knit community here in Peebles, this celebration always has a feeling of coming home for Christmas.”
Entertainment for the evening included several local choirs including the Church of God Quartet, Patrick Klump and a Youth Choir, and Shirley Grooms on keyboard. There was also a community sing-a-long led by Chaplin Steve Zinser, and a special performance by Emilee Swayne in memory of her father, the late Phil Swayne, who served as emcee for the annual holiday event for many years.
There were also presentations of “Special Memories of Old Time Christmas, 75 Years Ago” by Paul Baker and Jim Pertuset.
The Christmas tree was lit by Honorary Guest Carl McFarland, a local retired businessman.
Hot chocolate and cookies were provided by the Peebles United Methodist Church.
The day’s festivities began with the Old Fashioned Holiday Bazaar in the American Legion Hall on Main Street. Vendors of Christmas arts and crafts, primitive decor, and homemade treats filled the hall’s 25 booths. Several hundred shoppers from the tri-county area attended the bazaar.
Throughout the day children had the opportunity to have a photo taken with Santa Claus.
The event’s organizer, Mary Dunlap, told the Defender, “I’m very pleased with the turnout this year. The quality of the vendor’s products is exceptional and we’ve had a very high shopper turn out.”
Christmas Treats from Santa Claus will be handed out Dec. 12 at the Peebles Fire Department on Elm Street and judging for the Decorating and Lighting contest will be held Dec. 16 after sunset.