Hometown Holidays rings in the festive season

By: 
Mark Ignatowski

Look for a few changes to the Verona Hometown Holidays celebration to kick off the season next weekend.
Karl Curtis, Verona Chamber of Commerce director, said a new holiday performance and the return of Breakfast with Santa should help keep the holiday spirit fresh this year.

“We’re very pleased to add a holiday performance by Verona Area Community Theatre,” Curtis said. “‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ is a nice little addition.”

The show takes place Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at the Verona Area High School Performing Arts Center. The traditional chili supper and tree lighting are set to take place Friday evening.

The chili supper starts at 4:30 p.m. at the Verona Senior Center, 108 Paoli St.

The chili supper is organized by the fire department and features kids’ activities like face-painting and crafts, assisted by volunteers.

Diners can take a break around 5:15 p.m. to watch the annual tree lighting ceremony at Central Park.

Santa Claus, who will ride into town on a Verona Fire Department truck and possibly get on the television news, will help with the tree lighting, Curtis said.

In addition, the Salem United Church of Christ Women’s Guild will host its annual holiday bazaar Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the 502 Mark Drive church.

Later in December, families will have a chance to enjoy breakfast with Santa, thanks to the Verona Lions Club.

The Lions will welcome Santa Claus at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, to the American Legion Hall.

Wayne the Wizard will entertain from 9–9:30 a.m. before Santa arrives to take pictures with little ones.

Later that day, “The Nutcracker” will draw crowds to the VAHS Performing Arts Center for the annual performance.

“They pack the PAC every year,” Curtis said.

For information on Hometown Holidays, call the Verona Area Chamber of Commerce at 845-5777 or the Verona Senior Center at 845-7471.