Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

Sharon saves Victorian Christmas

by Rob Ireland

December 01, 2011

Yes Sharon, there will be a Victorian Christmas this year. However, that almost wasn’t the case.

The event will be Friday, Dec. 2, starting at 5:30 p.m. with Sharon grade school students singing carols at Veteran’s Park.

Last month, at the Village Board meeting, members of the Sharon Main Street Association announced plans to cancel the annual celebration because of a lack of funding.

The news came as heartbreaking to board members, who look forward to the event where Christmas carolers line the streets and chestnuts are roasted on open fires.

During the meeting, Village President Diana Dykstra asked members of the association if they would reconsider their decision.

“My kids look forward to this every year,” she said on Nov. 23. “It is such a neat community with historic architecture and it truly takes you back in time. It’s the true meaning of Christmas.”

After the meeting, Dykstra said members of the community pulled together to make sure the annual event continued its tradition in Sharon.

“It is more about the feeling and family-oriented free festivities than it is about making money,” Dykstra said. “Hopefully, it will snow a little bit.”

This year’s event will feature free carriage rides, which are being sponsored by Mercy Heath Systems.

There will be a kettle corn display, an old-fashioned soup dinner at the United Methodist Church and a tree lighting ceremony at 6:15 p.m.

Big Foot High School students also will be involved in the event and the Jazz Band will perform at 6:30 p.m., and later that evening the Drama Club will perform Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”

Santa and his elves will be at the Main Street Office and crafters and vendors will have displays.

Each child who attends the event will receive a gift, which is being sponsored by Exacto, Inc., which recently relocated from Illinois to Sharon.

Dykstra said the village is only contributing a small amount of money to ensure that the event happens. Basically, the general fund is paying to rent portable bathrooms and a PA system.

In the past, the event has been cancelled because of road projects and weather, but never because of funding.

Dykstra said people in the community have contributed funds toward the event. However, many people have also volunteered their time to help decorate the village for the event.