The village of Ashley will be all aglow with the magic of an old fashioned Christmas when it kicks off the holiday season with its 10th annual “Christmas in Ashley” event to be held from 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7.
“Christmas in Ashley” began 10 years ago when long-time resident Amy Ruggles thought it would be fun to have a live nativity scene in the village to bring people together. She said there are so many nice people living around Ashley, but unfortunately, people weren’t gathering together like they once did in the past. The Christmas event, however, has changed all of that.
“Since the start of ‘Christmas in Ashley,’ we have become acquainted with so many friendly people,” Ruggles said.
The holiday festivities begin with a parade, promptly at 6 p.m., down High Street to the old Ashley Methodist Church, 214 E. High St., where Santa and Mrs. Claus can be found in the west room waiting to greet the children and hear their Christmas wishes.
According to organizers, everyone is welcome to join in the Christmas parade by lining up at 5:30 p.m. in the parking lot at the White Lily Chapel, 20 S. Main St.
Across the street from the Methodist Church on East High Street, the nativity will once again take center stage with live animals and characters on display.
Inside the Wornstaff Memorial Public Library, 302 E. High St., the angelic sounds of dulcimers will fill the air as musicians are scheduled to play a variety of Christmas classics throughout the evening, and again this year, the First Commonwealth Bank, 2 W. High St., will feature a Christmas village display.
Organizers have arranged for many fun activities that come with prizes for youngsters at the Ashley Wesleyan Church, 305 E. High St., while the White Lilly Chapel will provide lots of Christmas music and caroling to get everyone in the holiday mood.
According to Elaine McFarland, a member of the Ashley Village Council and one of the organizers, three of the historic homes of Ashley will be open to the public to tour during the event.
• Pat Baldwin will open her home, 218 E. Taylor St., to display her collection of fun Christmas decorations.
• The next stop on the tour is Al and Elaine McFarland’s historic grand 1860 home at 219 E.High St.
• The last of the three homes on the tour is William and Nancy Nichols’ newly renovated home at 307 E. High St.
This year’s planners added a great many of the homes in Ashley will be decked out for the holiday season as part of the Exterior Home Decorating Contest. The first-place winner will receive a $200 cash prize and bragging rights for the entire year, while second and third place will receive a $100 cash prize.
The winners will be announced by judges placing signs in front of the winning houses after 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6.
Inside the village office building, a craft show will offer folks a chance to start their Christmas shopping, and the American Legion will hold its annual Christmas Holiday Fish Fry.
All the events are free to the public with many of the homes, churches, and businesses offering cookies and hot chocolate with the only exceptions being the fish fry and craft show in the village office building.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.