Boardman Park kicks off holiday season

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Linda Smrek and the Boardman High School band performed Christmas carols inside St. James Church at the park. The park placed speakers outside so their music could be heard at the gazebo during the Community Christmas.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Santa sat with children at Boardman Park's Community Christmas on Dec. 2. Pictured is Santa with Sydney Rakers.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Families, community groups and businesses decorated trees at Boardman Park's 21st annual Community Christmas. They decorated the trees with food for the animals heading into winter.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Boardman Park ended their Community Christmas by lighting their Winter Wonderland lighting display. The park allows families to drive through the park from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. every night from Dec. 2 to Jan. 7 to see the lights. Some of the lights are synchronized to music on 89.9 FM.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Members of the community came to the Community Christmas to support the park, decorate trees and see the Winter Wonderland displays be lit. Pictured are, from left, Boardman Township Trustee Brad Calhoun, Township Administrator Jason Loree, Trustee Larry Moliterno and Tom Costello.

By ZACK SHIVELY

zshively@vindy.com

Boardman Park invited families to St. James Church and the area across from the church for their 21st annual Community Christmas celebration on Dec. 3.

Angela Davis and Karen Saunders organized and ran the event with the help of the other park officials, community groups and Boardman schools. The park set up events for the day, ending in the lighting of the park’s Winter Wonderland display.

Saunders said the event kicked off the park’s holiday season as they prepare for numerous other events throughout the month. She said the event has taken on a new life over the years, becoming a family tradition.

Members of the community came to the area next to the gazebo where the park had set up a number of Christmas trees. Those who ordered a tree had a place for their specific tree. Families and community groups, such as the Boy Scouts of America and Youngstown Phantoms Youth Hockey, registered a tree for decorations.

The families and groups decorated the trees with edible ornaments, like popcorn and orange slices, for the animals to eat. Saunders said this tradition makes “Boardman Park a delicious place during the holiday season.”

Santa arrived to the event in a fire truck and made his way over to the gazebo. Children lined up to meet with Santa and tell him what they wanted for Christmas.

Linda Smrek and the Boardman High School Band performed Christmas carols inside St. James Church. Thomas Ruggieri directed the band and Smrek led the carolling. The Boardman PTA also gave away cookies and warm drinks in the church.

The park lit their Winter Wonderland holiday display near the end of the event while those in the church performed “O Christmas Tree.“ The park synchronized the light display to music, which can be heard on 88.9 FM. The light show will be operating until Jan. 7.

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