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Town annual ‘Celebrate the Season’ continues successful run

Many Farragut residents had difficulty to get into the spirit of the holidays on Thursday, November’s final day, while spring-like temperatures still hovered in the mid-60s.

But at Farragut Town Hall, it sure helped when the Christmas trees went up, the colored lights came on, the holiday punch was ladled out and when Santa made his way through Farragut Town Hall to its community room for a visit with local children.

It was all part of the 13th annual “Celebrate the Season” event sponsored by the town of Farragut and its Decorating Committee.

Mayor W. Edward “Eddy” Ford III was among onlookers who enjoyed the event as some children posed with Santa as Sue Stuhl took free photographs.

A few children spotted the jolly elf, Santa — then retreated quickly into their mothers’ arms.

Elizabeth McKinley was there with her daughter, Nancy, who had just celebrated a November birthday. And they took full advantage of the festive


Christmas excitement and anticipation shone in Nancy’s eyes as together, they watched Elizabeth’s sister, Nancy Zimmer, play the mountain dulcimer as one member of the celebration’s serenading trio.

Bobbie Morrison, 16 months old, appeared with her mother, Leland Morrison, as a prelude to what’s really the child’s first Christmas. Bobbie, her mother said, had yet to visit Santa, but she suspected he somehow knew it was baby dolls Bobbie most wanted under her tree for Christmas.

Drew Huskey, 3, seemed pleased to get an inside track on requesting from Santa his much anticipated black racing car.

Drew said the race car was pretty much a secret, just between him and Santa; but he confided that he could also use a mechanical “rolling doggie” of some sort.

“I told him I’d like lotsa stuff,” said young Drew, displaying his winsome ear-to-ear grin.

As the trio of zither, dulcimer and bass played holiday favorites such as “Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” Marie Penumadu guided three youngsters — Rachel Penumadu, 7, Nick Stedman, 6, and Neil Penumadu, 2 — past the table of temptation where a half-dozen children, assisted by town staff members, were creating colorful, if cryptic, holiday designs on cookies.

Sarah Pastor, 2, accompanied by her mother, Sylvia Pastor, headed straight from Santa’s lap to the table for making powdery-sweet Sandy Candy as young Sarah tightly clutched a peppermint candy cane.

Sarah caught on quickly to the fine art of pouring the sweet, sugary “sand” into a tube for munching purposes later.

Diane Knudsen of Concord was among those fortunate parents who easily posed her children — 3-year-old Madelyn and 3-month-old Liam — on Santa’s lap for the obligatory pose.

Liam wasn’t certain exactly who the Old Guy was, but he indulged him, at least for a few moments.

Madelyn intimated to Santa that she’d really like a Dora the Explorer doll and perhaps a Diego doll, too.

Her Mom confided she’d also asked for a new baby sister as a present; but Mom added there were limits to Christmas wish lists.

“And that’s just not happening,” she added with Finality.

Olivia Jones, 5, made it all the way back from Santa to her mother, Heidi Jones of Farragut, before she realized she’d neglected to mention to him the Baby Alive! doll she’d hoped to get as a present.

Santa was wise, Jones told her daughter. Somehow, Santa would know.

Heidi Jones told a reporter the doll was a scarce item, but Santa’s elves this year had wised up and shopped early to secure the prize and ensure Olivia’s satisfaction Christmas Day.

The 13th annual town celebration wasn’t just for youngsters, keen to see Santa.

Many retirees such as Fred and Sara Boercker, residents of Derby Run, said they’d attended the past three “Celebrate the Season” events and found they were an ideal way to begin their own seasonal celebration.

“It’s sort of a kickoff for our holidays,” Fred said.

Sara, retired from the Institute of Energy Analysis in Oak Ridge, said the couple had moved from Clarksville and Knoxville to Farragut more than three years ago, primarily because of the town’s “close-knit community feeling.”

Fred, an Oak Ridge National Laboratories retiree agreed and said such town festivities give Farragut an “added flavor” missing from many other contemporary communities.

Both patiently awaited scheduled start of hand bell choirs whose performances in previous years had been a highlight of their holiday celebrations.

“This also gives us the chance to chat with friends,” Fred added.

Others who attended the “Celebrate the Season” event used the opportunity to tour the Farragut Folklife Museum, usually open weekdays during regular business hours.


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