Unlike a certain Nazareth inn a couple of millennia ago, there was plenty of room at the Peters Township Community Recreation Center.

The township’s Holiday Kick-Off Event changed locations this year, switching from the public library and allowing for greater capacity.

“In December of 2020 with the COVID pandemic still in full swing, we wanted to provide something for the community to kick off the holidays,” parks and recreation director Michele Harmel said. “But with restrictions in place, an in-person event just wasn’t possible.”

Instead, her department and the library organized a drive-through event for members of the community to get some goodies, see Santa and Mrs. Claus, and drop off letters bound for the North Pole.

“It was a nice event. But in 2021, with the restrictions lifted, we really wanted to offer an in-person event,” Harmel said. “Because COVID is still a concern, we wanted to do it with less congestion than what our normal tree-lighting event would generate.”

Along with providing sufficient space at the community recreation center, the organizers set up pre-registration for participants to arrive at different times.

“The event provided visits with Santa and Mrs. Clause, games, a craft, a selfie station and refreshments,” Harmel said. “It was a great way for the community to kick-off the holiday season.”

In addition, members of Peters Township Fire Department were on hand to provide various activities to encourage safety during the holidays and throughout the year. Plus library staff members greeted guests with seasonal reading material for youngsters.

And speaking of the library, visitors can see the traditional lit-up tree outside of the building, just as in years past.

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!