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Santa comes to town

By Jennifer Peryam - jperyam@h-ponline.com

ROANOKE — Santa and Mrs. Claus on a fire truck, free food and beverages and a chance to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas were all children’s experiences at Christmas In The Village Friday night in Roanoke.

The event, sponsored by Roanoke Chamber of Commerce, was at Roanoke Public Library where free hot dogs, donuts and hot chocolate to children and their families were given out.

Santa and Mrs. Claus sat in chairs by a decorated Christmas tree and decorated fireplace to listen to children’s Christmas present requests.

Kevin and Lynn Clemence, Roanoke, brought their two sons, Weston, 5, and Walter, 7, to the event.

“This is our second year and we just moved to Roanoke from Wisconsin,” Lynn said. She said she wanted the family to return to the event this year because they had such a fun time last year.

The family has a tradition of having Christmas at their house and traveling to Wisconsin to see family.

Gretchen Scraton, Fort Wayne, who grew up in Roanoke, attended the event with her daughters, who wore red bows and Christmas dresses, Anna, 7, and Zoe, 9.

“It’s a wonderful annual tradition to visit Roanoke and we are doing Elf on the Shelf now at home,” Gretchen said.

Zoe said she likes to get presents from Santa and she had fun at the event eating the Christmas food.

Adam and Amber Wagner, Roanoke, and their two children, Avery, 3, and Anna, 1 attended.

“This is our second year for coming to this. Last year they enjoyed seeing Santa and doing arts and crafts. We are happy to be healthy and in good spirits and will spend time at home around the Christmas tree,” Amber said.

She said she enjoys living in Roanoke because it is a small town and everyone waves and smiles.

Kenzie Stephan, Roanoke, and her 8-month-old daughter, Bexlee, dressed in a red and white Santa dress with red sparkly shoes and a bow attended the event with Stephan’s 3-year-old niece, Stella Johnson, Roanoke.

“This is our first year for coming and we love that everyone is here and it’s a pretty town,” Stephan said.

She said it was her daughter’s first time for seeing Santa and they will celebrate Christmas with family.

Connie Burns, volunteer, said the chamber sponsors the business people and tries to bring business to downtown. The chamber purchased the food and hot chocolate for attendees.

“The children look forward to this every year. We have activity books and books for them to read while waiting to sit on Santa’s lap,” Burns said.

Celia Bandelier, library director, said the library is glad to host the event.

“We like the set up with the fire place and the library being decorated,” Bandelier said.

She said she wants the community to know they are cared about and said they want to make kids happy.