The Lighting of the Fort went off with a bang earlier this month. Baby Conan Shields and his mother Vija Pelekis played Jesus and Mary in the Nativity tableau, with Chad Clark as Joseph. “The baby was so brave and didn’t even cry when the cannon went off,” said organizer Holly Davis. High school music teacher Matt Davis’s four-part a cappella choir, Lydia Andriesen, Natalie Jobbins, Yzella Miramontes, Claire Waldo, Raine Winge, Logan Borcik and Mark Davis, along with friends Arden, Elias and Addison Kelly volunteered to be angels and shepherds, and the three kings included fifth graders JC Davis, Bear Scott, and Nate White.
Jessica Forster returned from her first deer hunt over the weekend on Shelter Island, just west of Juneau. “Lindsey Johnson let me borrow her .30-06 and I went with a couple friends from Juneau, I highly recommend it to all moms–even if they don’t shoot an animal because you get to walk in beautiful places, slowly, peacefully and you make it mandatory that nobody talks.”
Mrs. Claus held a special story hour at the public library last week. Holly Davis has been playing the part since her oldest son Mark Davis was 2 years old. “My favorite parts are getting to read to all the classes. From fifth grade all the way down to kindergarten, each class gets to come to the library once in December and enjoy stories and songs under the big tree. I like to think they are making happy memories in the library that they will always remember. I also visit both preschools as Mrs. Claus, and we’ll go caroling at HAL and the Senior Center.” Holly’s mother, Margaret Plucker made her costume dress. “One of my other favorite parts is reading the kids a story I wrote and illustrated when I was ten that is about Mrs. Claus,” said Holly.
Kyle Clayton surprised his niece, Thea for her fifth birthday in Nashville, Indiana last week. When Kyle arrived at his sister Lainy Clayton’s house, he called his niece and chatted with her as he walked up to the front porch and peered in the window. Thea was very surprised to see Kyle outside. Kyle enjoyed catching up with family, playing games including “pin the tail on the unicorn.” Kyle’s dad Rick Clayton, step-mom Kimmy and older siblings Meggie and Korey all enjoyed celebrating Thea’s birthday. Kyle also made a trip to see his mom, Barb Wingert in Indianapolis.
Scott and Candi Bradford traveled to Sayulita, Mexico along with Candi’s sister Cristy and brother-in-law Lance Geise. They enjoyed snorkeling, fishing, 4-wheeling, shopping and soaking up the 80-degree weather. “It was funny, some of the locals remembered us from last year, it’s such a friendly town, we will definitely go back,” said Candi.
More than one hundred people gathered last Friday at the second annual Lighting of the Tree, which coincided with December First Friday events. The 24-foot tree was donated by John and Carolann Wooton; Greg Podsiki created the wooden reindeer and the Haines Borough Public Works Department strung the lights and helped put tents up to cover the cookie and candy contest entries and Santa Claus. Cotton candy and hot chocolate added to the holiday spirit. The Visitor Center’s annual cookie and candy contest was judged by the community this year. In the adult division the first place cookie winner was Payson Clark, second place was Tawny Darling; first place in candy was Tina Long, Charlotte Olerud took second place. The junior winner for cookies was Selby Long, with Gabby, Bella and Kiersten Long coming in second; for candy Jayda Beck won first place and Gabby, Bella and Kiersten Long placed second.