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News of Otsego County

holiday

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Santa Arrives in Cooperstown 11-26-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26

Santa Arrives in Cooperstown

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SANTA ARRIVES – 5 p.m. Bring the friends and kids to greet Santa as he arrives at his cottage. Refreshments and music will be available. Please wear a mask to visit Santa’s cottage. Pioneer Park, Cooperstown.

CHRISTMAS – Be an Angel. Sign up to give the gift of Christmas to local families in need with this years Angel Tree Program. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ for details.

The Farmers’ Museum brings ‘lantern tours’ back for another December

Tours end at Todd’s General Store, open this year for holiday shopping. (contributed)

The Farmers’ Museum brings ‘lantern tours’ back for another December

By Ted Potrikus • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Holiday Lantern Tours return this December to The Farmers’ Museum — evening events guiding visitors through museum grounds by lantern light with talks on the history of December holidays, including Christmas, and how they were celebrated in Upstate New York in years past.

Deb Anderson, Museum interpreter and assistant to the director of education, said the hour-long tours “give visitors a real picture of what people in this part of New York State would do to celebrate the season every December.”

“In the 1840s, Christmas celebrations specifically were just coming into vogue,” she said. “We walk people through the traditional Yule and Winter Solstice of the era, the first Christmas card, the music, the introduction of the Christmas tree. We try to touch on all of the things that made the festivities of December so special in our region.”

Friends Of Christmas Deliver 400 Meals of Holiday Cheer

Friends Of Christmas Deliver

400 Meals of Holiday Cheer

Santa Claus wasn’t the only one checking the list twice! Kendra Beijen and Ann Steen, coordinators for the Friends of Christmas dinners, check their list of recipients as they prepare to hand out the last of the Christmas dinners at St. Mary’s church earlier this afternoon. “We have been preparing food since five this morning!” said Steen. ” Because of social distancing we could only have three people in the kitchen at a time. but being able to dispense the food here at Saint Mary’s was a God-send. People were able to drive right up to the door, which made it a lot faster.” With the help of 11 delivery drivers, Friends of Christmas were able to deliver 400 meals of turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans, applesauce and dessert to families in the community. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Yes, Virginia… There IS A Santa Claus, Editor Wrote 8-Year-Old

Yes, Virginia… There IS A Santa

Claus, Editor Wrote 8-Year-Old

Santa and Mrs. Claus have been reading Christmas stories that are available to all Otsego County youngsters. Google “Cooperstown Community Christmas Committee facebook” to listen. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Editor’s Note: The New York Sun’s Francis Pharcellus Church penned this famous response to 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon in 1897.

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor—

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon
115 West Ninety Fifth St.

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.

We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real?

Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Festival of Lights Opens In Neahwa Park

Festival of Lights

Opens In Neahwa Park

Connie Herzig, left, and event organizer Carol Mandigo, right, wave to visitors alongside Santa Claus during the opening night of The Festival of Lights in Neahwa Park earlier this evening. Visitors can make their way through the park via car and enjoy plenty of colorful displays created by local businesses and organizations. The event, sponsored by First Night Oneonta, is open each day at sundown for the next three weeks.(Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Outpouring Helps Buoy ‘Angel Tree’

Outpouring Helps Buoy ‘Angel Tree’

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Yes, there are more families in need of Christmas cheer. But Salvation Army Capt. Selah Bender can report, there are many more angels to help make
the season merry.

Take the Angel Tree program, where shoppers can pluck a tag off a tree with the name of a child in need of a Christmas present.

“We’ve had entire Angel Trees emptied almost as soon as we put them up,” Bender said. “We’ve had to go out and put more tags on them. We’ve had some really inspirational donors this year.”

The captain and her husband, David, six-year veterans of the Salvation Army, arrived in Oneonta in August from northern Kentucky in the midst of the COVID-19 threat, and had to adjust.

“Kettles have been a challenge since day one,” she said. “We weren’t sure we were going to be able to do them, but finally, the grocery stores all said yes.”

Getting volunteers also proved difficult, so Selah has put the form on www.salvationarmy.org. “You can register for an hour or two, or if you’re a group, sign up for the whole day,” she said.

Volunteers have to wear a mask, have no COVID symptoms and step back when people drop money in the kettle, she said.

Some familiar faces have been recruited, including Nick Whitehead, who mans sites around Oneonta. But for those who looked forward to hearing him sing while he rings, new regulations have shushed him this season.

This year, the local post is hoping to raise $35,000, down from the usual $60,000. “Because we started late, we had people calling up to say they were bringing a check by,” she said.

In addition to throwing in your spare change, each kettle is outfitted with scan-code so you can make a donation directly using Google or Apple Pay. “It looks up your zip code and donates to the local Salvation Army.”

At Walmart, shoppers also have the option of rounding up their spare change at the checkout. “That’s great for people who are doing the curbside pickup,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of help this year.”

And with the abundance from the Angel Tree, families will still be able to collect toys for their children, but instead of in one large gathering, families will sign up for a time to pick up their gifts, and they will be loaded into the car.

Similarly, the annual holiday food baskets are being discontinued. “Our volunteers are so limited, and we don’t have the college students to help sort,” she said. “It was a hard decision to make.”

But the captain sees this as a blessing in disguise. “We’re directing the people who normally get a holiday basket to our food pantry,” she said. “It’s more of a bridge than just seeing them on one day, we can continue having conversations about their needs, and they have access to the food pantry more long-term.”

And they still have both frozen turkeys and store vouchers for turkeys for anyone who might need the centerpiece of their holiday meal.

Families can sign up online, and, like the toy distribution, food distributions are by drive-up only, by appointment.

“Anyone who needs food can get food,” she said.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, DEC. 10
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, DEC. 10

Holiday Open House & Food Drive

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OPEN HOUSE – 3-5 p.m. Holiday event featuring baked goods, refreshments, a performance by Gerry Falco, Steve Fabrizio & Friends. Also collecting non-perishable items for the food pantry & Susquehanna Animal Shelter. St. James Manor, 9 St. James Pl., Oneonta. Call 607-436-9974 or visit www.facebook.com/St-James-Manor-Retirement-Community-394485027409541/

MEET & GREET – 3-5 p.m. Congressional Candidate Patrick Ryan presents a brief outline of his positions, followed by Q&A session, followed by a meet&greet with the public. Free, space limited. Village Hall Ballroom, Cooperstown. RSVP, 607-547-7011 or e-mail melindaghardin@gmail.com

Snow Falls as Santa Lights Oneonta Tree

Hundreds Brave Snow As

Santa Lights Oneonta Tree

With Oneonta Town Supervisor Bob Wood to his left, and Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig to his right, Santa Claus admires the City of Oneonta’s Christmas Tree just after it was lit this evening in Muller Plaza.  As if scripted in a movie, snow began to fall just as the tree’s lights came on for the very first time.  Christopher Brashear, pictured at right, and the Klipnocky Clangers handbell choir played holiday tunes to help get everyone in the holiday spirit.  After the lighting, Santa occupied his cottage and began hearing youngsters’ Christmas wishes.  (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)

VFW Auxiliary Packs Boxes for Soldiers Overseas

VFW Auxiliary Packs Boxes

For Soldiers Overseas

Mary Welch, Fran Novak,, and Martha Sherwood, from left, pack boxes with gifts for local soldiers who are spending this year’s Christmas season overseas. While the Cooperstown VFW Auxiliary has been shipping gift boxes to soldiers since the Vietnam War, these three have been involved in the project for the past 10 years. This year, the women are filling nine boxes with candy, local news papers, and other assorted mementos, including copies of The Freeman’s Journal, to remind the soldiers of home. (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com).
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, FEB. 2
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, FEB. 2

Design, Print 3-D Valentine’s Gift

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Check back at 5 p.m. for tomorrow’s events.

3-D PRINTING – 10-11:30 a.m. Design a keepsake heart box for someone special. Fee based on weight Registration required. Huntington Memorial Library, 62 Chestnut St., Oneonta. Info, hmloneonta.org/calendar/

YPN NETWORKING – 6-8 p.m. Come meet young professionals from the Otsego area. The topic for this evening is community involvement. The Beverage Exchange, 73 Main St., Cooperstown. Info, www.facebook.com/YoungProfessionalsNetworkYPN/

FUNDRAISER – 7 p.m. Live music will be performed. The public may donate for the opportunity to perform. Donations go to the Cooperstown Lion’s Club fund to support area residents to lessen financial stress. Mel’s at 22, Cooperstown. Info, www.facebook.com/Melsat22/

Holiday Cheer By The Bus Load

Holiday Cheer By Bus Load

If you saw a packed OPT bus making it's way around residential streets this evening, rest assured they weren't lost! The bus, driven by Paul Patterson, was taking residents of Nader Towers on a city-wide tour of Christmas lights. D.J. Wooden and Julie Pitell, seen in the foreground, lent their vocal talents by singing Christmas songs with the riders to get everyone in the spirit. The event, organized by Carla Balnis, was so popular that she intends to expand it for next year to include rides for Academy Arms and Peaceful Flatts. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
If you saw a packed OPT bus making its way around Oneonta’s residential streets this evening, rest assured they weren’t lost! The bus, driven by OPT Director Paul Patterson, was taking Nader Towers residents on a city-wide tour of Christmas lights. D.J. Wooden and Julie Pitell, seen in the foreground, lent their vocal talents to singing Christmas songs with the riders to get everyone in the spirit. The event, organized by Carla Balnis, was so popular that she intends to expand it for next year to include rides for Academy Arms and Peaceful Flats. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, DEC. 11
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, DEC. 11

Catskills Christmas Concert

This Afternoon At U-U Society

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We still have 6 families in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program in need of a benefactor this holiday season. CLICK HERE to learn how you can help them.

CONCERT – 3 p.m. “Christmas in the Catskills: Songs of the Season” the winter concert of the Catskill Chamber Singers. Unitarian Universalist Church, 12 Ford Ave., Oneonta. Info, Emma Kirsch (607)433-0999, or visit www.catskillchambersingers.com

YULETIDE CELEBRATION – 1-4 p.m. Hunt for the Yule log and then settle in for an afternoon of arts and crafts for the whole family. SUNY Oneonta College Camp, off upper East St.,Oneonta. one mile from intersection of Bugbee Rd. and East St., Oneonta. Info, 436-3455

WASSAIL WEEKEND – 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Demonstration on how to make Wassail, the traditional holiday drink. Savory spices blended with sweet cider at The Fly Creek Cider Mill, 288 Goose St., Fly Creek. Info, 1-800-505-6455, flycreekcidermill.com

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, DEC. 10
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, DEC. 10

Live Christmas Tradition

At Candlelight Evening

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We still have 6 families in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program in need of a benefactor this holiday season. CLICK HERE to learn how you can help them.

CANDLELIGHT EVENING – 3-7 p.m. Participate in a beloved holiday tradition. The museum is decorated with greenery and candles with wagon rides, a dramatic reading of “A Christmas Carol”, arts & crafts for the kids, visits with Saint Nicholas, complimentary wassail, a bonfire on the Tavern Green, and Caroling by the Catskill Chamber Singers. The Farmers Museum, 5775 NY-80, Cooperstown. Info, www.farmersmuseum.org/Candlelight-Evening

WASSAIL WEEKEND – 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Demonstration on how to make Wassail, the traditional holiday dring. Savory spices blended with sweet cider at The Fly Creek Cider Mill, 288 Goose St., Fly Creek. Info, 1-800-505-6455, flycreekcidermill.com

OPERA – 12:55 p.m. “L’Amour de Loin.” The Met streaming live in HD. Foothills Performing Arts & Civic Center, 24 Market St., Oneonta. Cost $18/seniors, $20/adults, 10/students. Season pass $200. Box Office: (607) 431-2080, foothillspac.org/index.php/shows/metropolitan-opera-in-hd

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103