PENDLETON, Ind. — Today there are probably more than visions of sugarplums dancing in children’s heads after the downtown celebration on Saturday.
There is Santa to dream about.
The 14th annual Christmas in Pendleton was packed with people enjoying the spirit of the season — in addition to iced gingerbread cupcakes at Blondie’s Cupcakery and the sweet sound of Christmas bells on the festively decorated carriage rides.
Matt McLaughlin, 46, of Pendleton, said he has brought his children to the holiday event for the last couple of years and everyone ends up having a good time.
Loaded down with candy, popcorn and a prized Styrofoam snowball, Ian McLaughlin, 8, said he had lots of fun. And it did not take the little boy long to figure out what he was going to do with his everlasting snowball.
“I don’t know,” he said. “Throw it at my sister?”
His dad quickly discouraged that idea.
“No, you are not,” he said with a discouraging frowning and a quick shake of his head. Ian McLaughlin grinned up at his father before explaining that his new snowball souvenir is like a wiffleball.
“It will still hurt someone if you hit them,” Matt McLaughlin told his son.
Ian McLaughlin agreed before stuffing his fake snowball back into a plastic bag filled with candy he had gathered at the parade.
Samantha Grove, 23, of Pendleton, said the parade with its famous snowball toss is one of the highlights of the Christmas event – even if there is no snow on the ground.
“I haven’t been here since I was eight,” Grove said with a laugh. “I love it.”
Grove was visiting with two former school friends after the parade had ended and recalled some of her fondest memories growing up in the town. Her friend, Ethany Reeder, 24, also of Pendleton said the Christmas event helps to her get in the mood for the holidays.
“You should totally see the Christmas carolers,” Reeder said.
April Reineman, 23, of Fishers said her son, who was squirming in her arms as the three women stood outside on a blustery day, especially enjoyed seeing Santa.
Inside the frosted wonderland of Blondie’s Cupcakery, children were decorating miniature gourmet cupcakes as their parents enjoyed the refreshments and full-sized versions of the scrumptious sweets.
Cindy Hand, 25, of Pendleton said her children were also excited to see Santa, but the warmth of the community was definitely what added a special kind of charm to the merry festivities.
“It’s a small town and everyone is friendly,” she said. “It’s also just a fun thing to do for the kids.”
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