By Keith Knepp
SYRACUSE — If you’re planning to stay in the area this coming holiday weekend, make plans to come to Oakwood Resort in Syracuse from 5:30-8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26. That’s where Chautauqua Wawasee will be holding its third annual Old Fashioned Christmas celebration.
This free, family-friendly event features something for everyone, including some of Santa’s reindeer, who will be available for petting; a live nativity scene; horse-drawn wagon rides; strolling musicians, including two barbershop quartets; and an elfin reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
While there, you’ll surely run into a variety of characters who will be roaming the grounds, including Frosty, the Grinch, Rudolph, Buddy the Elf, a toy soldier and the Gingerbread Man, all of whom will be delighted to stop for a photo with your group.
Activities will begin at 5:30 p.m. with music near the Oakwood Inn. The 60-foot Christmas tree will be lit at 6:15 p.m., accompanied by the singing of Christmas carols.
Back by popular demand this year is the reading of the Christmas story from the Bible, which will take place at the historic Oakwood Chapel, read by Penny Kitson and Shelly Judy.
As you walk to the chapel, look for the live nativity scene featuring Mark Mesaros as Joseph; Suzie Cook as Mary; Ron Mason, David Johnston and Jim Kroemer as wise men; Alan Kitson and Dave Schramm as shepherds; and Karen Kroemer as an angel. Milford Christian Church will provide the costumes; the Syracuse Parks Department built and assembled the nativity stable.
Additionally, the Christmas photo booth is the perfect place for your family’s annual Christmas picture. Hot chocolate, cookies and s’mores will be provided, and don’t forget to pick up some deer food to take home for Santa’s reindeer.
“As we celebrate Christmas, we often think of those in need,” said Mark Knecht, president of Chautauqua Wawasee. “A collection bin for the Syracuse Food Pantry is available for your canned or nonperishable goods.”
Keep your fingers crossed for a bit of snow, but if severe weather occurs, check chqw.org or facebook.com/chautauquawawasee for information and updates. All events will be held outside, so dress accordingly for the weather.
Event sponsors include the Town of Syracuse Parks Department, Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation, Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum, Syracuse-Wawasee Rotary Club, Wawasee Property Owners Association, Oakwood Resort, Syracuse Chamber and many local businesses that will be identified in the event program.
Free parking is available around Oakwood Resort, located at 702 E. Lake View Road, Syracuse.
“This is a fun-filled family event and a wonderful way to get the family into the Christmas spirit.” said Kip Schumm, event coordinator. “Make this event part of your family’s holiday traditions.”