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Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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Joshua Thomas
Elves Night Out attendees gathered in downtown Canajoharie's Village Green Friday evening to sing classic carols around the Christmas tree. Canajoharie Central School District music teachers Susan Crua (left, with flashlight) and Nick Anker led the sing-a-long.

Joshua Thomas
From left, Sam Field, Sophia Sinicropi, and Carina Sinicropi pose in Santa Claus' sleigh, situated at the Tourist Information Booth outside downtown Canajoharie's Village Green Friday night during the annual Elves Night Out celebration.

Joshua Thomas
Morgan Prime (left) and Makena Nurnberger (right) rode in Santa Claus' sleigh, which he pulled behind him down Church St. from Canajoharie's Village Green to the Arkell Museum and Canajoharie Library, Friday night during Elves Night Out.

Joshua Thomas
Andre Jones signs copies of her book "Ruffles: A wild but friendly Ruffled Grouse," at Picture Perfect Friday. The book is a true story of a grouse that Jones befriended, and has had adventures with over the last year and a half. The true story also contains photographs taken by Jones, including one of the grouse sitting atop her head.

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Elves Night Out invites warm weather and huge crowds

Thursday, December 12, 2013 - Updated: 4:50 AM

By JOSHUA THOMAS

C-S-E Editor

CANAJOHARIE -- This year's Elves Night Out celebration was one of the most well attended since it began over a decade ago. While some Elves Night Out celebrations were cursed with less-than-ideal weather, from sub zero temperatures, to wind and snow storms, Friday was a relatively warm, mild evening.

People took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather, filling not only the village streets, but the shops and restaurants. Each storefront was consistently full of people, from the Eagles Craft Fair, to the craft fair with musical accompaniment by Gary Van Slyke at Liberty Day Treatment center, to Andre Jones' book signing at Picture Perfect.

Santa Claus, played by Mike Houghton, was all over the place on Friday evening, starting at the Canajoharie Post Office, where he received letters from local children, to the Village Green, where his sleigh was positioned outside the Tourist Information Booth. Throughout the sing-a-long around the Village Green's tree, led by Canajoharie Central School District Music Educators Susan Crua and Nick Anker, Santa invited attendees to pose for photos in his sleigh.

At the sing-a-long's conclusion, Santa decided he didn't need his trusty reindeer, and all on his own, hitched the sleigh to himself and proceeded down Church St. to the Arkell Museum and Library, where he posed with kids for more photos.

From the beginning of the evening, when kids were invited to participate in children's activities, through the Juried Art Show and the Santa Claus visitation portion of the event, wherein the chamber served hot chocolate and cookies, the museum and library reported having 500 visitors pass through the space.

Outside the Arkell Museum and Canajoharie Library, free horse drawn wagon rides were offered. Canajoharie-Palatine Chamber of Commerce President Dolores Jacksland said people were lined up to take wagon rides right until 9 p.m.

"There was a lot of wonderful Christmas spirit in the village," said Jacksland, explaining that it took the participation of a lot of chamber and village volunteers to make Elves Night Out go off without a hitch.

The event, she said, began over ten years ago when Barbara Spraker used to host a sing around the village Christmas tree on a December Sunday. Picture Perfect Owners Phyllis Lapi and Doreen Solberg "thought it'd be fun to have an Elves Night Out," Jacksland said, explaining that the two events were combined into one grand tradition.

"This was one of the best Elves Night Out we've ever had," Jacksland said, adding, "people really came out this year. The merchants reported wonderful sales."

She concluded, "it was a perfect, perfect evening."

The Canajoharie-Palatine Chamber of Commerce will soon launch an initiative to collect donations to purchase 25 new flags for the poles in the village of Canajoharie. The flags are $37 a piece. Though the chamber hasn't officially announced this initiative, they are now accepting donations for the future purchases.

Joshua Thomas - Loretta Pryor (right), Canajoharie's famous "hot dog lady", with Sadie Dillenbeck (left), made a pot of her special meat sauce to serve with hot dogs at St. John's/St. Mark's Lutheran Church Friday. The event was so successful and well attended even early on that somebody was sent out to buy more hot dogs.

Joshua Thomas - Canajoharie Central School District Elementary Music Teacher Susan Crua leads the sing-a-long around the tree in the Village Green Friday night.

Joshua Thomas - Bill Brust (drums) and Jan Cronkhite play with the Bill Brust Combo at Twilight Gardens Friday night.

Joshua Thomas - Laurie Stewart and Ira Meltzer play with the Bill Brust Combo at Twilight Gardens Friday night.

Joshua Thomas - From left, clockwise, Ashlynn, Jayden and Brandon Johnson take a photo with Santa Claus at the Liberty Day Treatment center.

Joshua Thomas - Mike Houghton, as Santa Claus, pulls his sleigh down Erie Boulevard Friday.

Joshua Thomas - Elves Night Out attendees load into the horse-drawn wagon, which offered free rides all evening Friday.

Joshua Thomas - Gary Van Slyke, accompanied by an autoharp, plays holiday songs at the Liberty Day Treatment center Friday evening.

     

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