FOLLANSBEE — When the sun came out Saturday, so did the shoppers at Follansbee’s 17th-annual Christmas in the Park.
Early morning rains gave a less than auspicious start to the day, though by lunchtime the sun was out and temperatures had climbed to the mid-50s.
“It started slow but it’s picked up,” said vendor Becky Barcus of Rayland, eyeing the shoppers making their way through the maze of vendor booths with holiday favorites like “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” blaring from a speaker. “At least it’s not 90 degrees like it was a week ago.”
Barcus and her husband, Ron, operate “Becky’s Crafts,” a mix of handcrafted seasonal items ranging from candles and centerpieces to wooden ornaments and decorations.
“We started making things in January, we usually spend a couple hours every evening,” she said, adding they have been coming to the festival for about five years. “It’s relaxing.”
Vicki Harper of Colliers loved the chill in the air.
“It’s my first time living back here again in 40-some years,” she said, beaming. “It’s a perfect day. It’s the right temperature to start off the Christmas season, the fall season.”
Jill Ray, a Follansbee resident, agreed the autumn weather was the perfect backdrop for the holiday festival.
“You can get all kinds of good bargains, and it’s the best weather for it,” she said. “You can walk around and carry your (buys) instead of standing there freezing.”
And Weirton resident Dawn Ohalek points out it’s never too early to buy holiday decorations.
“I buy Christmas stuff anytime,” she said with a laugh. “Give me a light-up house or a set of salt and pepper shakers…I only have 675 of them already! I truly enjoy coming down here every year. It was a little challenging this morning, but it got really nice.”
Christmas in the Park continues today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. featuring a variety of vendors, Revolutionary War re-enactors, a visit from Santa Claus and other activities.
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