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Santa and friends share lunch

By Staff | Dec 26, 2014

For 20 years, the Jefferson County Parks and Recreation has welcomed children to enjoy Lunch with Santa. The event, which was originally held at the War Memorial Building in Shepherdstown, now takes place at the Jefferson County Community Center at Sam Michael’s Park.

On Saturday, more than 300 children and parents gathered for the annual event which offered not only lunch, but phots with Santa, crafts and play time.

Santa arrived, with several of his friends including the Grinch, Cindy Lou Who and “Chippy,” the parks mascot, atop the Bakerton Fire Truck. Volunteers with that company were excited to have the opportunity to deliver the guest of honor and his friends to the long-awaited lunch.

While there were several other events going on county-wide, the parks and recreation’s annual event was still well attended.

Cameras snapped photos of smiles, and some tears from those not quite so sure about the whole affair, and each child who visited Santa’s lap was awarded an ornament with their photo with Santa placed inside.

Following lunch or while waiting to take a turn with Santa, children enjoyed the moon bounce and took time to create one of many crafts available. Ornaments, coloring pages and much more could be found at the craft center within the gymnasium at Sam Michael’s.

Executive Director Jennifer Myers shared that while the numbers were down a bit from previous years, the event was successful.

“We are going to look into possibly making some changes in the future,” Myers said, with regard to the event. With the development of other “Lunch with Santa” events around the county, the novelty of a unique event has worn down. The park staff will look at offering some new ideas and events moving forward.

Although Myers was unable to expand on those ideas in detail, she indicated a change is needed.

“There were at least two other events of this kind today,” she said Saturday. “We will have to get creative to draw people in for a new, innovative idea next year.”

Myers said that the Lunch with Santa event is one of several geared toward total community involvement. The department also hosts a Breakfast with Easter Bunny and many more programs. For more information on all events and activities offered by the Parks and Recreation, visit www.jcprc.org or call 304-728-3207.