ONEONTA – The end of the Christmas season will mark the end of an era for a Southside Mall mainstay.
For over two decades, Vera Stewart, aka Mrs. Claus, has been volunteering for the Salvation Army by ringing bells and holding doors at her station outside of JCPenney, spreading cheer to holiday shoppers. Dressed in red velvet with white trim, the Southside Mrs. Claus has become a mainstay of the Christmas season to many visitors young and old.
“When they first asked me to be a bell ringer for the Salvation Army, I decided to try it.” said Stewart, “I began doing it only on weekends, then I went to five days a week.”
“Welcome home to Cooperstown!” declares Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, as – for the first time since her March election – she greets Santa and Mrs. Claus as they arrive at their Pioneer Park cottage in a horse-drawn carriage. The day afternoon Thanksgiving, good boys and girls came from all over the area to welcome the Jolly Old Elf, ushering in the Christmas season. At right, Brynlee Burr, 4, and her mom, Brittany, were decked out in their holiday finest to keep warm and wait for the parade to bring Santa to town. Santa will be in his cottage over the weekend and until Christmas Eve give hear all his young Cooperstown friends related their holiday wishes. (Libby Cudmore, AllOTSEGO.com)
NUTCRACKER – 7 p.m. The Fokine Ballet Company’s 29th production of “The Nutcracker.” Goodrich Theater, SUNY Oneonta, 108 Ravine Pkwy., Oneonta. Info/Tickets (607)432-6290, email@example.com
WRITERS PROGRAM – 1:30-3 p.m. Group to host author Shannon Delaney. She will talk about her writing process and journey through publishing. Huntington Memorial Library, 62 Chestnut St, Oneonta. Info, hmloneonta.org
CONCERT – 4 p.m. The Voices of Cooperstown to sing “Handel’s Messiah”. Tickets $20 Adult, $10 Child. Christ Episcopal Church, Fair St., Cooperstown. Tickets available at Cooperstown Art Association, 22 Main St., Cooperstown or Riverwood, 88 Main St., Cooperstown or Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, 31 Chestnut St., Cooperstown.
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
Calling Hours Tomorrow At Cooperstown Funeral Home
FLY CREEK – Vera R. Ainslie, Cooperstown’s former “Mrs. Claus” whose family name also is memorialized in Cooperstown Youth Baseball’s home field, passed away Thursday afternoon, May 12, 2016, surrounded by her family at Focus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center at Otsego. She was 89.
Calling hours are 4-6 Monday at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home, Cooperstown, with a graveside service on Thursday.
Born July 18, 1926, at Bassett Hospital, Vera was a daughter of Orra C. and Nellie Mariah (Adsit) Goodspeed.