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A glowing start

A glowing start
A glowing start
Patty McClure reads ' 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' to children just minutes before Santa arrives in Corydon.

Oohs and aahs could be heard throughout the Corydon town square Saturday night as thousands of tiny white lights were turned on during the annual Light Up Corydon festivities.
The Corydon Central Vanguard and band boosters had spent considerable time stringing the lights in the past couple of weeks leading up to Saturday’s event.
‘The band did a great job,’ said Jim LaDuke of Corydon. ‘It’s the best job I’ve seen in recent years.’
Gary Wood agreed.
‘It’s awesome,’ he said. ‘It’s the best it’s ever been. It looked like it was done with an idea in mind.’
Mild temperatures for this time of year may have enticed more people to come to the event, or at least come earlier before the lights were turned on at 6:30 p.m. Some of those milling around the square were enjoying ice cream cones.
‘This was the largest crowd’ of the past five years, said Sean Hawkins, director of visitors experience for the Harrison County Convention and Visitors Bureau, who helped organize Light Up Corydon. That’s how many Light Ups Hawkins has been involved with.
Besides the ‘absolutely nicest weather,’ with the daytime temperature climbing into the low 70s, Hawkins believes having more people involved in the event boosted attendance.
‘We had the Corydon Central jazz band provide music and the Relay for Life sponsored luminaries,’ he said.
Another aspect that might have contributed to the turnout was what Hawkins referred to as the ‘anticipation’ of seeing the square lit up.
‘People saw how high they were going with the lights’ as the trees were being decorated, he said.
Mackenzie Sonner, 6, and her brother, Austin, 3, were among many who brought lawn chairs to sit in and enjoy the entertainment on the Hurley D. Conrad Memorial Bandstand. In addition to the CCHS jazz band, that included Sara Wilson, cast members from Hayswood Theatre’s upcoming production of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ and Patty McClure’s reading of ‘ ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.’ Children crowded around McClure on the bandstand.
Then it was time for Santa to arrive. Hawkins, who spotted the jolly big guy arriving in a horse-drawn carriage, encouraged the children to let Santa know they wanted to see him.
‘That was my best memory from this year’s Light Up Corydon, the children banging on the bandstand and chanting ‘Santa, Santa,’ ‘ Hawkins said yesterday.
Corydon’s downtown merchants had extended hours Saturday in connection with Light Up Corydon, and Hawkins said he’s received good reports from the shop owners he’s talked with since Saturday.
LaDuke, who runs Albin Jewelers, said he saw people come into the store whom he’s never seen before in addition to people from Louisville who come every year to the event.
Wood, owner of G. Wood Picture Framing, said he did pretty well Saturday, with many customers bringing in things during the day to be framed. ‘I was pretty much wall-to-wall with people (in the shop) in the evening,’ he added.
The same was true at The Christmas Goose. ‘They were buying a little bit of everything,’ said Sherri Deatrick, who was working in the store Saturday. ‘The weather was perfect.’
‘Regardless of the season, people seek out this shop because of (owner Sandy Larson’s) reputation,’ said clerk Charlotte Bell.
Nick Nichols won the $500 shopping spree drawing that was given away by the CVB at the Light Up Corydon activities.
Other events during the day included free carriage rides through town, a performance by the Corydon Dulcimer Society at the Wright Interpretive Center, and a Living Nativity Scene, as well as private collections on display, at the Corydon United Methodist Church.
Show dates for ‘A Christmas Carol’ at Hayswood Theatre are Dec. 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17. Curtain time is 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and children 17 and younger. Greg Bone is the director for the production.
Tickets are available in advance at the Blaine H. Wiseman Visitor Center or by calling 738-2138. Tickets can also be purchased at the door one hour prior to show time.
Children who still need to speak with Santa may do so at the Corydon Capitol Building during any of the following times:
Dec. 1, 8 and 15, from 6 to 8 p.m., as well as Dec. 2, 9 and 16, from 2 to 5 p.m. Pictures of the jolly big guy with the children will be available for purchase.
Magdalena’s Restaurant & Gourmet Gift Shop in Corydon is hosting two holiday events. On Saturday, Dec. 2, children can have breakfast with Saint Nick. Cost is $10 per person for the full breakfast buffet. Parents can take their child’s picture with Santa or Magdalena’s staff will have cameras available.
On Sunday, Dec. 17, the restaurant is hosting a Christmas Tea. There are two setting times: 2 and 6 p.m. Cost is $20 per person. Reservations are required; tickets must be paid for in advance.
For more information about either event at Magdalena’s or to make reservations, call 738-8075.
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