Santa arrives in Ephrata this Friday night

By on November 22, 2016

A special countdown to Christmas event will take place this Friday evening, Nov. 25, in Ephrata.

Ephrata Main Theater, 124 E. Main St., will be open and showing free holiday movies from 3 to 5 p.m. Among the films will be “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer,” and “The Grinch.”

Beginning at 5:30 p.m. the downtown street will be hustling and bustling with activity as area residents begin to congregate in preparation for the annual excitement that only Santa can bring.

Nevin Rutt was the donor of this year’s Ephrata community Christmas tree, a blue spruce. Jim Brown, director of facilities for Ephrata National bank and Christmas committee person, said that the celebration first began in 1953, in the front yard of a house on Main Street with a normal-sized Christmas tree. Brown continued to say that the location got cemented when Ephrata National Bank put an addition on their building in 1981 and made accommodations for the town Christmas tree at that time, and it has since stayed there.

For the second year, Main Street will be closed from Lake Street to State Street the evening of the event. There will be selected food vendors from the Ephrata Fair ranging from elk and bison to chicken, cupcakes, and coffee.

Also planned, in partnership with the Ephrata Public Library, is a Toyland for the children in the Whistle Stop Plaza, along with free balloons, candy, hot cider, balloon sculptures by Art of Recycle, and song sheets. The Getz Steam Calliope will return to play favorite Christmas jingles. A new feature this year will be a live demonstration of an ice carving sculpture. Watch as a 300 pound block of ice becomes transformed into two beautiful Christmas works of art.

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Paul B. Scott, former afternoon personality for I-105, program director and morning host for Smooth Jazz 92.7, part-time traffic anchor WGAL-TV8, and professional voiceover for TV, radio and film, will be the master of ceremonies for the evening. Ephrata Performing Arts Center (EPAC) actors will entice the crowd to celebrate the holiday season by singing traditional Christmas carols. A highlight of the evening will be a memorable rendition of “O Holy Night” by Rich Repkoe. Additional music will be provided by the Big Boy Brass Band.

Following tradition, Santa Claus will arrive at the Ephrata National Bank to retrieve the magical book of children’s names from the vault. If he doesn’t get the book in time, before the bank closes at 6 p.m., he will need to make his way to the roof of The Ephrata National Bank Main Branch to be rescued. The Ephrata Pioneer Fire Company will need to assist Santa off the roof with the ladder truck so he can make his way to the much anticipated return to the train station to greet the children and receive their Christmas wishes.

Horse drawn carriage rides will be provided by Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Be sure to watch out for the Belsnickel!

The evening is topped off with a dazzling laser light show from the roof of Ephrata National Bank.

For additional information, visit EphrataChristmas.com.

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