Decorating Coal Grove for the holidays

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 29, 2007

COAL GROVE — Savanna Triplett was maybe too small to reach the top branches of the tree, but had firm ideas about what kind of ornaments she liked.

“I like the reindeer,” she said, fingering a box of handmade items. “They’re neat to make and they’re pretty.”

Thursday, third grade students from Dawson-Bryant Elementary decorated the Christmas tree at the Jae Rousch Community Building. While the kids were busy indoors, volunteers were at the Paul Porter Park assembling the large lighted displays that will make the hilltop come to life this holiday season.

Email newsletter signup

Little reindeer

“We do this every year,” said Coal Grove Betterment Club President Sue Triplett as she watched the students and teacher Chellie Ulery turn a plain tree into a work of art. “This gives the kids the feeling they are also helping their community and we get so many comments each year about how nice the tree looks.”

The third graders this year got help from other grades in making a huge red and green construction paper chain that was swagged around the girth of the tree several times.

They also made colorful ornaments out of compact discs and fashioned reindeer out of candy canes ad pipe cleaners.

“This is fun,” Brianna Stumbo

said as she waited in line to get an ornament to put on the tree.

Big reindeer

When village officials flip the lights in a couple of weeks at Paul Porter Park, visitors will find some old favorites and some new additions.

“We have new candy cane archways, 12 feet high and a gingerbread scene,” Coal Grove First Lady Vickie McDaniel said. “We have a new horse a sleigh.”

If the park is a community attraction, the huge displays are a community project. Many of the displays are built by students at Collins Career Center’s welding class. McDaniel and fellow village resident Juanita Markel then string lights and garland while Vickie McDaniel’s husband, Mayor Larry McDaniel, assembles the electrical cables. Village employees, community service workers and other volunteers set up the displays.

Money from the betterment club and the village paid for the new displays and new street decorations elsewhere in the village.

While McDaniel said the work is hard, “It takes about four weeks to put it all up,” she said, the end result is worth it.

“Thousands of people come through and see the lights,” she said. “The nativity is my favorite. And I like seeing the little kids’ faces.”

The lights will be turned on Nov. 30 following the annual Christmas parade.