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One of the first holiday events brings out delight in children

 Rachel Minard, Brianna Lopez and Ariana Lopez decorate cookies at the Transit Café as part of the activities for children at Small Business Saturday.

Rachel Minard, Brianna Lopez and Ariana Lopez decorate cookies at the Transit Café as part of the activities for children at Small Business Saturday.

Ten-year-old Ava Weber jumped on the green and gold bus and climbed on a seat next to her friend, Laney Dressler, 9.

“Trolleys are so awesome,” she told Laney.

Small Business Saturday may be geared for the grown-ups, but this Huntington bus system trolley turned the morning into a Christmas extravaganza for the young and the young in heart.

First stop was the Transit Café where Rachel Minard, Brianna Lopez and Ariana Lopez carefully spread creamy white icing on their sugar cookies, making sure not a drop of frosting marred their Christmas outfits of red velvet and white ermine and black and white taffeta.

When the cookies were sufficiently covered, Ralph Kline of Ironton In Bloom using the 100-year-old metal pastry tubes of his grandmother Essman, drew each girl’s initial on the treat.

This wasn’t the first time for the girls to take in the special Saturday.

“I think this is fun,” mother Angel Lopez, said. “It makes them believe in Santa Claus and they can tell Santa what they want.”

With just enough time to scarf those cookies down, the girls were on the trolley as well as the bus headed for the City Center where Santa and Mrs. Claus were waiting to have their photos snapped with the youngsters.

It was back on the bus for the next stop at the Holiday Inn and Suites at the Gateway Center. There Andrew Gee and Jennifer Mills poured out hot chocolate non-stop before settling down in two easy chairs before the fire in the lobby for story time.

Myles MacDonald got the chance to select the book for that hour, pushing a copy of “Frosty the Snowman” into Gee’s hand.

Just as the last cup of cocoa was drained, the trolley was back out front to take in two more stops.

As it was leaving the Gateway Center, passengers erupted in a spontaneous rendition of “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.”

Then some got off at the Rotary Fountain where Boy Scout Troop 106 was roasting marshmallows for homemade S’mores while the rest rode down to South Second Street to jump inside inflatables at BC Tool.

Riding along was newly elected Ironton Mayor Katrina Keith complete with a felt elf hat.

“I love to see the little kids come out and the activities downtown,” she said. “This translates into storefront support. Small businesses are the very backbone of our community.”