The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

December 1, 2013

Harpersfield Covered Bridge festivities set with annual lighting of Christmas tree

By MARGIE NETZEL - mnetzel@starbeacon.com
For the Star Beacon

HARPERSFIELD TOWNSHIP — It just wouldn’t be Christmas without the history and the holiday feeling the Harpersfield Covered Bridge brings to the community.

The Friends of the Harpersfield Covered Bridge MetroPark will trim a Christmas tree and light up the park at the fourth annual Covered Bridge Christmas on Dec. 7. The event begins at 6 p.m. with the annual lighting of the Christmas tree, followed by hot chocolate, soup, sloppy joe sandwiches and cookies.

“The holiday light up night is really special to so many people in our community,” said Friends group organizer Denise Weinmann. “It has become such a tradition for so many families in this area.”

The event will include holiday choirs and singing groups, and everyone is invited to sing Christmas carols around the bonfire, Weinmann said.

Santa will appear to light the tree with his special magic while everyone sings “Here Comes Santa Claus.”

“Santa will greet everyone and light the tree, and then we sing ‘O Christmas Tree’ and other carols and walk to the south side of the park for soup and cookies with hot chocolate and coffee.

The bonfire will burn while the children talk to Santa and hayrides will be available.

A Chinese auction will be held to benefit the group’s maintenance and improvement efforts at the park, which include roofing for the community pavilions.

Professional photos with Santa will be available  and families are invited to bring their own cameras, too, Weinmann said.

Weinmann said she expects at least 200 people at the event each year, but the crowd has grown as the popularity of the event catches on.

“We work hard to give everyone an affordable family event,” she said. “That’s sometimes hard to find during the holidays when everything is so expensive.”

While the event is free, donations of cookies  and food are appreciated. Chinese auction items are also needed.

To donate or help plan the event, call Weinmann at 994-4784 or email friendsofthe coveredbridge@gmail.com.