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Crowd enjoys festive celebration
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The famous Warren County High School Pioneerettes perform before a packed crowd Tuesday night at Christmas in the Park.

The temperature was chilly, the mood festive and heartwarming, for this year’s Christmas in the Park in downtown McMinnville.

Hundreds attended the holiday extravaganza held Tuesday night. 

“Christmas in the Park was a great event,” said Ashley Roberts of Junior Auxiliary, which organized festivities. “We are so happy for the turnout. Everyone seemed to have such a good time. Thank you to every single person and business that helped, sponsored, and participated this year. We are already excited about next year.”

Mayor Ryle Chastain flipped the switch and lit the Christmas tree on Court Square, a Christmas in the Park tradition. Children descended on First National Bank for a one-on-one visit with Santa Claus. He was heard asking the youngsters, “What do you want for Christmas?” 

“A tablet,” said Camden Chadwell.

As the song goes, “Santa knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!”

Camden’s mother reported “fair” as the chance that he would receive the wished-for tablet. 

The event also provided children with the chance for ornament or card making, a bounce house, tasty treats, story time, balloons, temporary tattoos, hot Dr Pepper, hot chocolate, coloring books, a live nativity, and a chance to call the North Pole.

Keira Lewis picked up the phone and called the North Pole. When Keira hung up, she said, “It was an elf. He’s going to tell Santa what I want for Christmas. Can I do it again?”

The 8-year-old made a second call, and was clear about what she wants for Christmas – a Rainbow High Fashion Doll, which “can be found at Walmart in the toy section,” she said.

Performances and musical entertainment were provided by First Presbyterian Church with Hand Bells, Paula’s Dance Academy, WCHS Pioneerettes, Joe Harvey Band, Kelly Walker Slaughter, and WCHS choir.