Brace Your Elves: Christmas Is Around The Corner!
With the collaboration of the whole of Frostburg, a day-long holiday celebration was organized and set-in place with games, activities, programs, performances, a parade, a movie, and so much more. As the 12th annual Storybook Holiday, the tradition lives on, getting more magnificent and intricate with every passing holiday. Storybook Holiday brought out every family, every student and every local business and organization, and even people from bordering counties could not miss it.
The day was full of nothing but cheer spread by the volunteer holiday elves that flooded the city. For this year’s day of holiday fun, the snowball began rolling with a breakfast with elves, followed by an Elf Olympics which welcomed kids’ participation. Local business Mountain City Arts put on a grand performance to kick off the parade down Main Street. As Gunter Hotel blasted Christmas music that echoed down the street, kids and families cheered on the runners of Run Your Bells Off, a run for Autism awareness. Wowing the kids who crowded the streets, the parade was led by Frostburg’s police and fire departments, who threw candy for the excited kids. On a four-day tour around Maryland, Frostburg kicked off Governor Larry Hogan’s journey with a parade. Hogan marched down Main Street shaking hands, taking pictures and waving to kids with arms full of candy. The parade not only had a political figure, but famous cartoon characters like Olaf or the Grinch were there to pass out candy and make the most of the annual tradition.
Following the parade, author and illustrator Will Hillenbrand presented one his children’s books at the Frostburg Community Library; he later took part in a book signing at City Place. Storybook readings proceeded throughout the day as other activities were running. A few highlighted activities were cookie-decorating, Elves’ Secret Workshop, Letters to Santa, miniature train displays, and trolley rides. Another wonderful surprise of the day was a dance by yet again Frostburg Dance Academy, who clearly knows no bounds as the word “rest” is not part of their vocabulary.
Just a stroll down Main Street and a glance would tell anyone how involved the community is in the tradition. All local businesses were decorated to lift the holiday spirit, and many of them offered special treats for kids and deals for families. A popular gift was cookies for kids, if they drew a picture for the store. There were even “sticker stations” around town, where if a child collected enough stickers, they would get a free gift.
The day closed with meeting santa and watching a movie. “The Shop Around The Corner” was presented at the Palace Theater and was open to the public. “All of the different schools and groups, it doesn’t just involve Frostburg,” volunteer elf and student Emma Wade says, “It’s so magical.” Every year, Frostburg hosts a day of holiday celebration in an environment decorated like a winter wonderland, where kids stuff their faces with candy and dance in the streets to tunes like Snoopy’s theme song, where families walk hand-in-hand in the cool weather, and where anyone can be an elf.