Local students provide holiday entertainment –
By Patricia Beech –
Several hundred people braved the winter weather on Saturday evening, Dec. 9, to gather in downtown Peebles for the village’s Hometown Christmas celebration.
“It gets bigger and better every year,” said PABA President, Larry Shiveley. “People are very enthusiastic about Hometown Christmas, even when it’s bitterly cold.”
The annual event, which is sponsored by the Peebles Area Business Association (PABA), culminates with the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree on the village green.
The tree-illuminators for this year’s celebration were Steve and Valerie Ryan.
“We try to honor one business person every year by having them flip the switch that turns on the tree lights,” said Shiveley. “Steve and Valerie have been a part of the Peebles business community for decades and Steve was one of PABA’s charter members, so we are honored to have them be our tree illuminators this year.”
Several groups provided entertainment throughout the evening. Choir members from area churches sang several Christmas carols, as did members of the Peebles High School Choir, and soloist Johnny Baker performed his signature song, “Oh Holy Night”.
The Peebles Elementary Performing Arts Club, under the direction of PES teacher Dana Johnson entertained the crowds with several song and dance routines.
Johnson said the club, which is comprised of fifth and sixth graders, began rehearsing their holiday routines at the end of October.
“We had a wonderful time despite the cold,” Johnson said. “The kids were all very excited about taking part in Hometown Christmas, and we’re hoping to make our performance even bigger and better next year.”
Members from the Peebles Church of God provided the event’s live nativity scene and children attending the event received bagged treats from Santa and Mrs. Claus, even though the Grinch was on hand with his intentions of spoiling everyone’s evening.