Rain doesn't dampen spirits at Christmas at Plum Creek holiday celebration
Sage Rentz could not help herself when she saw Santa Claus.
The second-grader from St. John the Baptist School made her way through the crowd at the second annual Christmas at Plum Creek just to give the jolly old man a hug on a damp last night of November.
"I really miss him and I don't get to see him a lot so I really wanted to give him a hug," said Sage, 7.
She asked him for a new drum and a toy car to ride in.
Sage other students from the Plum school heralded Santa Claus' arrival at the event by singing carols until he flipped the switch to light the borough's Christmas tree.
Her mother, Corinne Green of Verona, said Sage was a good girl all year and a great big sister.
"This is a really nice event," Green said. "It's a good way to get the community and the school together and showcase our kids and their beautiful voices."
There was entertainment and hot chocolate and coffee flowing throughout the night. Nonprofits and other groups had booths full of giveaways and activities for children. There also were ice sculpture demonstrations by Bill Sandusky of Erie Ice Works, live reindeer and food trucks. Horse and carriage rides provided by two buggies and drivers added to the fun.
Proceeds from the rides went to the Plum Angel Fund, which helps less fortunate students in the district have a merry Christmas.
Approximately 3,000 people flocked to the ballfields across from the borough building along New Texas Road, which is a few hundred more than the inaugural event, organizers said. It was a little warmer this time around and rain before the event did not dampen spirits.
"It certainly hasn't cut down on the crowd, that's for sure," Mayor Rich Hrivnak said. "People in Plum love Christmas .... (and this shows with) them coming out in the poor weather to enjoy the fellowship and have fun."
Shuttles from four parking lots helped get people to the event more smoothly than last year, organizers said. With only one lot, a lack of parking was one of the only complaints about the event last year, coordinator Mona Costanza said.
"It was definitely more organized," she said. "After the event we always sit down and brainstorm about what we could have done better and possibly do in the future. It's going to keep going."
The event was sponsored by the Plum Chamber of Commerce and others.
"We're definitely here for the businesses, but we also want to be here for the community," said Chamber President Mary Beth Tedrick. "To be able to participate in events like this and make ourselves available to community members and help them is our goal."
Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2367, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.