COVINGTON – With that crisp feeling in the air, there's no doubt that Christmas is on its way. Many families kicked off their holiday season this past weekend with a trip to the Moffat Estate for their annual Christmas Open House.
This event at the Moffat Estate has delighted young and old alike for eleven years.
Recreation Committee member Marlene Beavers has been a big part of the planning of the event during that eleven years, but amid all the attractions, her favorite part is pretty simple.
“The kids,” Beavers said. “Just seeing them be happy. Anything that makes a kid happy makes me happy.”
Every year, Beavers said, the event just gets bigger. Evidence of that is in the free raffle tickets handed to each person who entered the main building. On Saturday, they gave out 340 tickets. By 1 p.m on Sunday they had already given away 250, and they still had three hours to go.
Christmas at the Moffat Estate is a festive event to remember, featuring pictures with Santa, horse carriage rides, craft making and the Hall of Trees.
All this takes place in a historical building decorated to perfection and filled with happy, smiling families.
Hall of Trees
The pavilion featured sixteen trees that would later be donated to needy families. The trees were decorated by area businesses and organizations in all different ways.
Some went with traditional Christmas colors and decorations, while others put a personal touch.
The fire departments used toy firetrucks and ambulances in their displays, while the girl scouts and St Mary's Villa residents went for handmade ornaments.
The VFW utilized a red, white and blue color scheme, while the North Pocono Senior Center presented snowflakes with pictures of their people with the phrase “We have room to grow.”
Hall of Trees participants:
Knights Well Drilling and Hometown Hardware
Moscow Fire and Ambulance Co #7
Beavers Logging and Firewood
Girl Scout Cadet Troop 51445 and Junior Troop 50100
Eagle Lake Community Association
North Pocono Senior Center
Little Beavers Landscaping
Covington Volunteer Fire Department
Mendicino's Pizza and Family Restaurant
St. Mary's Villa Residents
Families could also get a picture taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Photos were taken by a member of the Boy Scouts.
Kids who got their photo with Santa walked away with goody bags, candy canes and a printed out picture.
Donna Chormanski, Ryan Shoener, Kodi Bigelow and Nick Bigelow were enjoying the festivities together.
“We just went for the horse and buggy ride and in here,” Chormanski said after they had their photo taken with Santa.
Nick Bigelow was one kid in the group who really enjoyed the carriage ride.
Next stop – Kodi wanted to see the steam train, but the boys also looked forward to making their own bird feeders.
The Boy Scouts were also in charge of instructing people how to make pinecone bird feeders using peanut butter and bird seed.
“We organize who's going to be at what activity,” Thomas MacDonald said.
His favorite part of the event was Santa because the kids got prizes.
Billy likes making the pinecone birdfeeders and seeing his family as they came to visit.
John Paul Serbert and Collin Humic really just enjoyed helping younger kids have a good holiday.
Another crafty opportunity was provided by Katherine Scheller and Ava Murazzi, who helped children decorate their own ornaments with cute holiday stickers.
They had started helping with the event the previous year when they heard through the grapevine that volunteers were needed. They also enjoyed seeing the kids have a good time.
The horse drawn carriage provided by Richard Scott of Madisonville was popular. Families lined up outside the Moffat house awaiting their turn on the carriage.
John Bauman, who does maintenance for the estate, was in charge of the festive lawn ornaments that greeted visitors as they approached the main building.
Decorations inside and outbrought the Christmas spirit to life, from Christmas trees and lights to poinsettias.
There was also Bob Howells' steam-powered train in the garage, which was a big point of interest for visiting kids and the Boy Scouts alike. This encounter will be discussed in a future issue of The Villager.
All in all, the experience of Christmas at the Moffat Estate proved a family friendly and joyous time for all who visited. Now they'll just have to look forward to next year.