Town tradition - Christmas in Suncook Village marks 12 years
Wagon rides are always a big hit at the annual event, thanks to Doug Bailey and Dr. Cliff McGinnis. (Leslie Thomas Photo)
In 2000, the original simple idea was to invite the community along with club members and congregate around a lighted Christmas tree, singing carols and holding candles. Lorette Girard, former chairman and originator of the event, said, “the event was sparked by having to make use of over a hundred candles that I had left over from my daughter’s wedding.”
The club members liked the idea so much that they brainstormed to see how it could be made into a bigger town event.
The success of the Christmas in Suncook Village event has grown, and to date it is their 12th year for the town tradition. Planning for the town-wide event starts in October.
“All the members do something, either baking cookies for kids to decorate, goodies for the refreshment area, donating money, or investing their time and talents,” said Marie Ayles.
Every year the Masons are offer their building to host Santa and Mrs. Claus. The Suncook United Methodist Church is also used for refreshments and entertainment.
“Also, without the participation from all the storefronts, the event would not be possible,” said Ayles. “They host the cookie decorating, face painting, craft making, balloon artist, and the wagon and pony rides.”
First-time attendee Chris Weir, owner of Weir Roasting, said, “The event brings people downtown that otherwise don’t generally come to Main Street. It’s a great event and the kids seem to love decorating the cookies. We will definitely be involved participants for years to come.”
The event is not just for kids, though children look forward to it each year. Additionally, it draws attention to the historic village area of the town and many adults enjoy the entertainers like the Granite State Cloggers, the Concord Coachmen, guitar soloist Dwight Phetteplace, and a bit of local flavor from the Blais sisters, Jocelyn Carlucci and Jill Drouin.
“The Christmas in the Village event is the one event that I am most proud of,” said Girard. “One fond memory was in 2001, when we added a parade to honor all the men and women who served our community as firemen, policemen, EMTs and all of our veterans from both the Legion and the VFW.”
Girard’s continued wish is that the Pembroke Woman’s Club is able to make many such fond memories for the children as well as the adults of the community in the years to come.