Polar Party back for second successful year
More than 160 children joined in to celebrate the holidays at Santa’s Polar Party at the Jefferson County Community Center Saturday night. The party offered several different twists and activities.
Parks Director Jennifer Myers said that the focus of the annual holiday event continues to offer a bit of variety to the children and their families.
“We were thrilled with the number of people who came out to celebrate Christmas with us,” Myers said. “Our Polar Party theme has proven to be a success and we hope to stick with it and make it bigger and better each year.”
Present at the event Saturday to welcome and play with the children were Santa and Mrs. Claus and several of their friends: the Grinch, Chippy the Chipmunk, one of the reindeer, the Chick-Fil-A Cow and Olaf, to name a few. The group all arrived on the top of Friendship Fire Company’s truck, much to the delight of the children waiting.
Children had the choice of heading into Santa’s Workshop where they built wooden toys. After construction, the builders then painted their creations.
Others headed off with Mrs. Claus to design those beautiful Christmas cookies to wrap and take home. The cookies were delivered by the Blakeley Street Bakery in Charles Town. Children added icing and sprinkles to create their own special design.
Still another option was gathering a baggie of “reindeer food” from the reindeer feeding station. In preparation for the big night coming Dec. 24, the children added all sorts of treats enjoyed by the reindeer including chips, oats and other appropriate snacks.
Add in moon bounces, concessions and photos with Santa and the night could be nothing but successful.
One more element added to the event, more for the adults attending than the children, was a vote on a favorite decorated tree. Myers shared that the Parks department provided miniature trees to several county departments who decorated them as they liked. Photos of the trees were posted on the Park Facebook page with instructions for visitors to hit the “Like” button on their favorite tree. In person votes could be cast at the evening’s event. Participating were the GIS department, the County Commission office, the IT department, the Sheriff’s Office and the office of Homeland Security. The final vote tally came after the party was over and was announced on the Facebook page.
The trees were then raffled off with all proceeds going to the Parks and Recreation scholarship fund that allows children who otherwise many not be able to participate in department programming to do so at a discounted price.
Ending the new event was a showing of The Grinch on the department’s blow up movie screen. Children settled down in the gymnasium to enjoy popcorn one of the season’s most loved films.
Despite the challenge of planning an event like the Polar Party where one is never sure how many kids will arrive to participate, Myers said it is all worth it when the crowds come in and have a great time.
“Planning is always a challenge because you never know if there will be 20 or 200,” Myers said. But as a lifelong resident of Jefferson County and mother of four young girls, Myers said that whatever the Parks and Rec can offer to keep people involved in their home community.