KINGSTON -- Businesses along Wyoming Avenue in a cooperative effort with the Hoyt Public Library and the Municipality of Kingston held their second annual Christmas in Kingston to celebrate the holiday season.
Hundreds strolled by as they opened their doors and volunteered their time offering activities for the children, providing refreshments and giving gifts, according to organizer Ariane Marsico, owner of the VGogh Custom Picture Framing Gallery.
Our mission is simple, Marsico said. Give back to the community leaders, to our customers who make each year prosperous and have become our dear friends, and to our neighborhood that has become our home, she said.
The event started last year when business owners met over coffee in August and decided a Christmas-themed event would be a good way to bring some life into the municipality and promote the Main Street businesses located there, Marsico said.
The municipal leaders agreed and decided to allow some traffic changes to take place and for Santa Claus to ride by on a Kingston fire truck.
Marsico thanked Municipal Administrator Paul Keating for his help in getting the event going.
She also emphasized how the businesses were willing to offer their time and facilities for free. Walgreens donated toys to be raffled and Edwards Landscaping donated a tree for decorating, Marsico said. Other businesses that donated included Rebennack's Appliances, First Keystone Bank, SignWerks, A Photo Affair, Lavender Linens, Montage Mountain Exxon, The School House, Fab Fitness Studio and others who all provided some type of activity, she added.
Kim Cavalari, owner of A Photo Affair, said she wanted to participate because Christmas in Kingston has become a great community event in such a short time.
People come to enjoy the event with their children and learn about the local businesses available, Cavalari said. It is also a good chance for us to show our appreciation to them and the fire and police departments who work to keep our streets safe, she added.
Marsico said to honor the families of the tragedy in Connecticut where 26 teachers and students were shot to death as well as the shooter's mother, the group decided to dedicate the Christmas tree and adorned it with peace dove ornaments.
She said they are all overwhelmed with grief for the victims, and all in attendance were asked to keep them in mind but still enjoy the event.