Originally published in Castine Patriot, December 12, 2013
Santa visits Penobscot as community gathers for tree lighting
Audrey Peasley (left) for Penobscot Historical Society encourages Chloe Skillin and her father Steve to decorate cookies. (The string in the middle holds a helium balloon.)
by Sharon Bray
Members and friends of Penobscot Historical Society gathered at the town hall Saturday night, December 7, to light an outdoor tree and hold an indoor party.
From children and infants to white-haired (and no-haired) senior citizens, several dozen enthusiastic celebrants generated more energy than a string of electric lights.
Earlier in the day, according to Rose Grindell, “the men” had set up rows of folding chairs surrounded by a few folding tables.
One of the event’s organizers, Audrey Peasley, stood behind the cookie decorating table with white and gingerbread cookies, dishes of frosting and assorted colored sprinkles. Children and adults took turns smearing on frosting and selecting colored dots and shapes to crown their individual, edible artworks.
Peasley and Grindell said this is the fifth or sixth year the society has held the party.
Before the crowd arrived, Elizabeth Dow brought in a bouquet of balloons to decorate a chair for Santa Claus. Her son, truly trying to be helpful, let the helium-filled green and red, beribboned orbs zoom up the town hall’s high ceiling.
Penobscot resident Gary Wood came to the rescue with a step ladder and long-handled grabber.
Santa arrived to sit in his duly decorated chair where he greeted children and handed out candy canes.
Part of the crowd stepped out into the cold at 6 p.m. to see the tree light up under a crisp crescent moon. Then back indoors to feast on many kinds of cookies with crackers and cheese for those who could resist chocolate chips, date squares and other holiday treats.
At another table, children and parents wrote letters to send to the North Pole.