FREDERICKTOWN — Cloudy skies and the threat of rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of the throngs of people who turned out Sunday for the Fredericktown Community Christmas Walk.
Visitors strolled Main Street to the sounds of sleigh bells and the sight of Santa and an elf cruising the sidewalks to conduct folks to Santa’s Toy Shop hosted by the Free Will Baptist Church. In addition to shopping specials offered by local merchants, the family-friendly event also featured many free activities, including ice carving demonstrations, horse-drawn wagon rides and a petting zoo provided by Sophia Oster.
Eleven-year-old Amanda Hawk, of Fredericktown, said she was having fun at the Christmas walk. Her favorite part was getting to see Santa at First-Knox National Bank, and eating cookies. Her sister Jessica, 8, was looking forward to her first ever horse-drawn wagon ride.
The wagon, driven by Tami Vaughn and pulled by a matched pair of black Percherons owned by Dean Shira, was consistently full as it made its way up and down the street.
“This is a great turnout,” Vaughn said. “I can’t believe how full it’s been.”
George Niemiller, a hospitality management student at the University of Akron, was one of the volunteer ice carvers assisting Rock On Ice. His professor, Chef Richard Alford, was also on hand to provide expert guidance as the artists created angels, snowmen, eagles and other sculptures.
Children could exercise their own creative talents by making ornaments at the First Baptist Church. The Presbyterian Church also hosted a number of arts and craft activities; and displays and Christmas karaoke at the Masonic Lodge was another way Christmas walkers could get into the act.
The real focus of the walk, though, was on giving.
All of the proceeds from the fundraising events will be donated to Fredericktown Interchurch Social Services and The Salvation Army of Fredericktown.
The Interchurch offices were steadily busy on Sunday, and volunteers there said they had a very good response. ‘This is the best day we’ve had,” one said.