FOLLANSBEE – Residents of the area who want to start early on their Christmas shopping are invited to the 19th annual Follansbee Christmas celebration in the park.
The festival will take place from 10 am to 7 pm on Saturday and from 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday in Volansby Park, which will once again be decorated with Christmas through the efforts of volunteers and students.
Visitors will find a variety of handicraft and food vendors in the park, which is located behind the Bluewave Center, formerly Follansbee Middle School, on State Road 2.
Next to it is a large car park and Follansbee Community House, which provides indoor restroom facilities.
The building will also be used to display several life-size nutcrackers loaned from the Steubenville Nutcracker Village.
Bill Seacrest, who co-chaired the event with Cathy Santoro and assisted by Stacey Williams, said the characters were a popular attraction last year and they are grateful to the Nelson family, who produced them, for their comeback.
Staff at Trinity Health System, the main sponsor of this year’s festival, will also be present from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday to present a full metabolic panel for $50.
The suite of tests includes a thyroid count, lipids, and blood, with tests for prostate cancer, blood sugar and vitamin D levels available at an additional cost.
Staff at Hood Pharmacy and Volansby Pharmacy will provide flu vaccinations there over the weekend.
The jockey will play a Christmas music CD from different eras and Santa Claus will be on hand for Christmas wishes at 1pm on both days.
Since its launch, the festival has raised funds for local charities and children in need with a 50-50 drawing, basket drawings containing items provided by each vendor, a package containing tickets to a Pittsburgh sporting event, and related perks provided by an anonymous donor.
This year’s Sports Package will include tickets for the December 24 Steelers-Raiders game.
There will also be a graphic of a basket containing various Adidas items.
Last year, the festival raised $3,000, which was split between Follansbee REACH, a local food pantry; and two children with special medical needs.