Monday, December 18, 2000

Loveland loves Christmas

Festival brings people together

By Jenny Callison
Enquirer Contributor

        LOVELAND — Chestnuts roasted on an open fire and carols were sung by a choir.

        Christmas in Loveland, held in the heart of this historic town, is nothing if not traditional. Despite iffy weather, residents ventured out, drawn by the prospect of hot chocolate, horse-drawn carriage rides and holiday spirits.

        “We try to make it an event where people can get to know their neighbors,” said organizer Martin Schickel.

        Most festival activities took place outside the historic railroad station. Near a cheery bonfire, Loveland resident Jim Fierro cooked and dispensed chestnuts.

        The event also included a live Nativity scene built and staffed by Loveland's New Hope Baptist Church.

        Inside the stable was a 5-week-old goat that bleated softly for his mother while children stopped to pet him.

        As darkness fell, Kevin Egan deployed his team of volunteers to light hundreds of luminaria that lined the streets.

        Mr. Egan's restaurant, Paxton's Grill, donated the lights to the community. His enthusiasm was shared by Peggy Tanis, co-owner of The Loveland Mill coffee shop across the street.

        “It's fun to see all the families,” she said, as a praise team from Loveland Church of Christ sang traditional carols.


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