PENDLETON — Old-fashioned memories were made in this tiny town when Santa made his annual appearance for the Christmas festivities.
Aubrey Hines, 4, of Anderson was ready for Santa.
“I want Santa to bring me presents for everything,” she said as she clutched her mother’s hand. “I want 'Frozen' dolls and lots of ice castles.”
Dawn Hines said this was her daughter’s first time to attend the seasonal celebration. Scenes reminiscent of "A Christmas Carol" filled the streets, along with vendors and visitors on Saturday at the Christmas in Pendleton open house.
“I enjoyed seeing her reaction to everything,” Dawn Hines said.
With unblinking eyes and occasionally an open mouth, several children watched in wonder as a fiddler in a long black coat and round speckled glasses played his fiddle and mingled with the crowd. They begged for carriage rides and cotton candy, giggled at the sight of snow being tossed about and watched as miracles seemed to unfold.
Rainbow colors of sticky cotton candy coated Jessie Shelton’s long hair and eyelashes. The owner of Ma & Pa Kettle Corn said she has been selling cotton candy and popcorn at the event for more than a decade.
“I need a good hot shower and all this will come off,” Shelton said, pulling at the fine strands of sugar clinging to her face and hair.
Within hours, she had sold out of kettle corn and turned people away as she packed up her roadside stand.
“The kids really like the snowball fight,” Shelton said.
Three little girls bundled up in coats sipped from a Styrofoam cup of hot chocolate as they sang "Jingle Bells" and pointed and laughed at the wonders around them.
The irresistible laughter was contagious, causing others nearby to smile.
Cathy Stowe from Atlanta was selling Christmas décor on a sidewalk near the heart of the downtown area.
This was Stowe’s first time to attend the event.
“It’s been a really good day,” she said. “It could have been a little warmer, but it is November.”
Stowe said she enjoyed watching the reaction of the children who were captivated by experience.
“It really is a great time for kids,” she said.
Like Traci L. Moyer on Facebook and follow her @moyyer on Twitter, or call 648-4250.