Gardnerville welcomes Christmas with a bang
Minden residents Rachel, Samuel and Matthew Gaskell warmed themselves by a fire pit Thursday night waiting for the Gardnerville Christmas Kickoff to begin.
The Gaskell’s were just a few of the many families gathered in Heritage Park for the annual Christmas tradition.
“It’s fun. We get to hear the songs, and Santa comes and the lights get switched on,” 9-year-old Matthew said. “I’m going to ask Santa for an iPod Touch. I’ve been a good boy.”
The Gaskell’s participate in most of the Valley Christmas events, including the Parade of Lights and the Minden gazebo lighting.
“It’s fun and exciting. I like watching them get so enthusiastic about it,” mother Rachel said. “I like being together as a family.”
Ranchos residents Harold and Lois Jones have spent 28 Christmases in the Valley, and enjoy taking part in the holiday festivities.
“We like this event. Heritage Park has done a heck of a job,” Harold said. “We remember when they used to do cow pasture boxing here.”
Members of the Sierra Ringers warmed their hands by a gas heater before starting off the night’s entertainment with “Twas in the Moon of Winter Time.”
“I like the family spirit of everybody here,” Director Kathy Chipman-Wicker said. “It’s cold, but we’re having a good time.”
As the man of the hour, Santa Claus, arrived in a horse-drawn sleigh, children eagerly waited in a line that stretched across the park to tell the jolly man their Christmas wishes.
“Our favorite part of Christmas is the children,” Mrs. Claus said as Santa was busy greeting children. “We enjoy seeing their faces light up. Gardnerville is definitely on the nice list.”
The Gardnerville Water Co. provided free popcorn to the crowd, while the Town of Gardnerville served up hot vanilla apple and chocolate cherry cobbler, along with hot cocoa and cider.
“It brings good cheer to everyone,” water company chairwoman Barbara Henningsen said. “And it gets everyone ready for the holiday season.”
As temperatures dropped into the teens, all eyes turned to the sky as fireworks burst overhead.
“We think they’re fabulous. It is worth waiting in the cold,” Gardnerville resident Katy Page said. “This is the only place I know of that does fireworks for Christmas.”