Hope hosts a festive night at ‘Chistmas of Yesteryear’

HOPE – As in years past, every parking spot around the Hope Town Square was taken Friday evening during the annual “Christmas of Yesteryear” celebration.

But since patrons were located in several different areas in and near the Hope Town Square, co-organizer Jessica Brown said she does not have a crowd size estimate.

The most popular attractions seemed to be the holiday parties being offered by several businesses in the town square, Brown said.

Every table appeared to be taken at Willow Leaves, located on the north side of the square. Brown said the antique shop, restaurant and entertainment venue was providing a chicken and noodle dinner for the first time during the town’s holiday celebration.

Meanwhile, at the Yellow Train Museum and Visitor’s Center, organizers counted more than 200 people who came to either visit Santa Claus or purchase goodies at the museum’s annual bake sale, Brown said.

“The only thing I’m disappointed in is that it took a while to get a crowd to hear the story characters,” said Brown, who serves this year as president of the Yellow Trail Museum.

Normally, the historic characters from the town’s past are strategically placed at different locations from the town square to the Hope Moravian Cemetery. They step from the shadows to tell their stories while patrons are on a carriage ride.

But due to the fact that the carriage ride forces individuals to sit in extremely close proximity of each other, the characters were presented this year in a scripted narrative from the town square bandstand.

Unfortunately, it took some time to attract attendees to the event, she said.

“The carriage rides are always a big draw each year,” Brown said.

But organizers received several compliments regarding the Hauser Jr-Sr. High School German Club, which sponsored Christmas carolers singing in German, the museum president said.

Meanwhile, the town is attempting to recruit volunteer technicians who can help resident Chuck Caldwell put up the holiday lights at the bandstand in the next few weeks.