Holiday Season Lights Up at Peddler’s Village in New Hope, Pennsylvania
FINO'S FAIRS AND FESTIVALS
A Column by Michael J. Fino
Peddler’s Village is always a lively and warm atmosphere, as quaint shops and picturesque landscaping surround those who walk down the cobblestone paths. Folks are greeted by friendly vendors and children are free to play in the grassy areas.
On Friday, Nov. 19, Peddler’s Village presented its annual Grand Illumination Celebration, which has become a time-honored tradition for those residing in Bucks County and in the Philadelphia area to begin the festivities of the holiday season. Having never been to Peddler’s Village this time of year, I had to check it out!
I followed the masses of people into a dark, secluded courtyard away from cafes, restaurants and boutiques. Once there, blackness surrounded me, except for the light from anxious children’s glow rings and a few vendor booths. Music was provided by Signature DJs, who played a blend of holiday music, classic rock and contemporary music.
Both children and adults waited in anticipation of the celebration and the arrival of a special guest at 6:15 p.m. While we waited, we had the pleasure of meeting a fourth grade boy, this year’s winner of the holiday essay contest. That boy had an opportunity to be on the CBS 3 Eyewitness News and have his essay, which recalled his first memory of going to a Peddler’s Village Grand Illumination Celebration, to the crowd.
Ten seconds left, the crowd counted down, “10-9-8-7-6…” and then before the special guest was visibly seen by anyone we heard a loud and clear, “Ho-Ho-Ho!” Suddenly, out popped Santa Claus from what seemed out of nowhere! He greeted everyone from a long balcony area, walking back and forth and spreading Christmas cheer. Soon it was time for Santa to pull the switch. So with a flip of his wrist and maybe a little Christmas magic, the entire courtyard became enchanted, as more than a hundred thousand scintillating multi-colored lights all came to life at the same time. Red, white, green, teal and peach were just some of the hues used in the color schemes. People didn’t know where to look first.
There were several holiday designs constructed, in addition to the outlines on rooftops and around the bushes. Shapes of drummer boys, turtle doves, reindeer and snowflakes could be seen. Of course, the illumination would be incomplete without a tall, sparkling, full Christmas tree in the center of the court complete with hundreds of ornaments, garland, tinsel and a brightly shining star on top.
Everyone urged Santa to stay a little longer; and although he suggested that he best be getting back to the North Pole, he promised to return shortly. Before he left, however, he had an opportunity to grant one Christmas wish, which was graciously offered to the talented fourth grader who won the holiday essay contest. I’m not sure what he wished for, but if I know Santa, it will come true.
Then as mysteriously as Santa arrived, he was gone; but the celebration continued on. The aroma of warm gingerbread cookies, roasted chestnuts, hot chocolate and spiced coffees filled the air, which made the grounds inviting for people to stay. There was also a vendor selling marshmallows on a stick near a small, controlled bonfire. When was the last time you roasted marshmallows over an open fire? I haven’t done that since I was a kid, so I had to get some; and they were delicious.
As I continued walking, I couldn’t help but be drawn to sounds of Christmas music. There were two live bands at Peddler’s Village—one was a brass band representing the Salvation Army and the other was a trio of percussionists just out to have a good time and invite people to have a little holiday fun.
The Grand Illumination Celebration was a great time and it certainly one event to make part of any family’s holiday tradition. But remember, this is just the beginning for Peddler’s Village.
Peddler’s Village hosts its own unique holiday fair that is ongoing through December—The Giggleberry Fair! Children are invited climb Giggleberry Mountain and conquer the largest indoor obstacle course in the Philadelphia area. There is an antique grand carousel sure to be enjoyed by everyone. For those who have toddlers, bring them down to Giggles Discover!, an interactive mental and physical voyage that educates and stretches your child’s imagination while they have fun. There is also a general game room and dining area called Painted Pony. Giggleberry Fair also accommodates for birthday parties and special events so call to make your reservation.
Peddler’s Village is located at: 5750 Upper York Road, New Hope, PA 18938.
For more information about Peddler’s Village, visit http://peddlersvillage.com or call (215) 794-4000.
For more information about Giggleberry Fair, visit http://peddlersvillage.com/giggleberry/giggleberry.htm or e-mail email@example.com
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