An estimated 1,100 people turned out for the CHIP committee’s Christmas in the Parkway event held Thursday night at Saxton.

One of the highlights of the two-hour program and believed to be the crowd attraction was two live reindeer from the Spring Run Farm Reindeer of Bloomsburg. The reindeer and their handlers Beth and Hailey Reed were sponsored by the Matt Baker Cancer Fund who graciously paid to have them brought to the CHIP festivities.

Also on hand for the festivities were Santa and Mrs. Claus, who were also greeted by Saxton Mayor Alan Smith, Liberty Township Supervisor chair Brian Weaver and Saxton Borough Council president Lester Meck. Santa Claus was paraded along Main Street from the Saxton Market to Stoudnour’s car wash and back to the parkway via the Saxton Volunteer Fire Company’s 100-ft. ladder truck.

On behalf of his fellow supervisors, John Black and Dick McClure, Weaver thanked members of the CHIP committee for its community efforts not only during the holiday season, but throughout the year. Weaver said the committee has made many improvements to the community parkway and its efforts have not gone unnoticed by the community and others.

Like Weaver, Smith lauded the CHIP committee for being such a welcoming community presence. He said the committee has come such a long way in its growth since first forming seven years ago.

Smith acknowledged the replacement of a larger Christmas tree earlier this year thst had stood in the community for 25 years. The planting of a new tree, he said, can be compared with the new life the CHIP committee has brought to the Saxton community with its many functions and projects.

Smith said it takes a team effort along with a lot of hard work and dedication to make things successful. He recognized members of Saxton Borough Council including Meck, vice president John Hoffner and members Phil Johnson, Dennis Clawson, Tom Skipper, Adam Runk and Larry Miller.

He also recognized borough manager Jamie Foster and members of the borough’s police force. Also CHIP chairman Adam Watson, vice chairman Joe Hall and members of the committee.

Smith gave the countdown and the new community Christmas tree was lit by Santa Claus. Winners of the CHIP committee’s coloring contest including Michael Russell, Aurora Cromwell, Payton Coons, Heaven Donelson and Alliance Lynch were announced by Meck and Hall.

CHIP committee chairman Adam Watson said he could not be more pleased with how well the parkway event turned out. Watson said he felt the presence of the reindeer was the catalyst for drawing such a record crowd.

“People called from a number of different areas asking if the reindeer were still going to appear and if they could bring their children to see them. I told them certainly, the more the merrier and it showed,” said Watson.

He said Lower Main Street where many of the events were held was crowded from one side of the street to the other. Performing during the event was Joyce Kelly of Saxton, who sang several holiday-themed songs and singers from the Saxton First Church of God and the Raystown Brethren Church.

“The night was full of ‘c’s’ including caring, cooperation and especially community. I cannot thank members of the CHIP committee more for their sense of cooperation and community spirit for making this event so highly successful,” continued Watson.

Watson said rain showers and a very brisk wind threatened to put the kibosh to the event early on. “A few canopies flipped over and it was difficult keeping many of them from taking flight, but eventually the wind calmed down and a very nice evening was had.”

Watson said he was happy to see so many smiling faces and people of all ages, especially children, there having a good time and not worrying what was going on in the works around them. That’s what Christmas is all about,” he concluded.

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