FOLLANSBEE - Fall may have recently arrived but Christmas is just around the corner. With this in mind, a local festival aims to offer people a chance to enjoy the cooler autumn weather while also preparing for the holiday season.
In its 10th year, Follansbee Christmas in the Park will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Follansbee Park. Vendors at the park will be selling a variety of handmade crafts and other items, including many fall- and Christmas-themed decorations and an assortment of food.
Kathy Santoro, who helps organize the event with Bill Secrist, said the longer hours on Saturday are in response to requests from several vendors and to give attendees a chance to see the Christmas lights strung along the park's grounds by volunteers Paul DiGiacinto and Joe Mattello. Fifth-graders from Follansbee Middle School will hang decorations made by children from Jefferson and Hooverson Heights primary schools throughout the park.
A variety of holiday music will be provided by a disc jockey and local choirs, and a live nativity will be presented at 6 p.m. by children and adults from the Weirton Christian Center.
Santa Claus will appear on both days, and horse-drawn carriage rides through the park and the city's Orchard section will be offered. The 8th Pennsylvania Regiment, an American Revolution re-enactment group, and a local Boy Scout troop are planning to set up camp at the park also.
The park is behind Follansbee Middle School, which faces W.Va. 2. Parking is adjacent to the park, and restrooms can be found at the Follansbee Community House, where local law enforcement and emergency officials and representatives of other groups will offer free information.