It’s the most wonderful time of the year in small-town America when streets and storefronts light up to show festive character and charm. Neighbors from near and far come together to celebrate their commonalities, and share in the magic and nostalgia of days gone by, which is illuminated by the lights and decorations that cast a warm glow in the streets and in our minds.
The Village of Trumansburg Department of Public Works worked tirelessly last week to prepare for the holiday season, which kicked off with WinterFest on Dec. 1, by hanging holiday flags and snowflake lights on the utility poles that line Main Street. This year, two new snowflakes were installed, thanks to generous donations from two community members, Kathy Bond and Linda O’Leary, in memory of their late husbands, Chris Bond and John O’Leary.The Bond and O’Leary families are, at this point, what you could consider lifelong residents of Trumansburg. Their residency dates back to the early 1970s, and both have raised their families in the Village. Both Kathy and Linda are retirees of the Trumansburg Central School District (TCSD), with Kathy retiring after 29 years, and Linda retiring after 34 years. Chris Bond was also a teacher and a coach at TCSD, and John O’Leary was a former CPA/CFO who started Sign-O-Rama and supported local business.
The idea to add additional snowflake lights along Main Street was brought to the Mayor by Bond, who was inspired by her travels through a nearby village, whose Main Street utility poles are all illuminated with angel lights. The question, though, was how do municipalities, who are already challenged with providing necessary services, pay for the lights, which can be costly. The answer is, they don’t. On one trip through, Bond noticed plaques hanging adjacent to the lights, which noted local businesses and individuals who donated funds for the lights. Bond thought donating a holiday light, which she believes are “mending and healing to the Village,” would be a wonderful way to memorialize her husband, and O’Leary agreed.
There are several more poles that could be lit next year, and the Trumansburg Chamber will facilitate the purchase of lights between the Village and local businesses to extend the cheer and joy throughout Main Street.
Holiday Shopping and EventsWinterFest was a wonderful success, with lots of shopping through the day, quality entertainment, and feelings of merriment to kick off the holiday season. Also happening last weekend was the Trumansburg High School Drama Club’s production of Clue. Some of the cast participated in the festival, selling tickets to the Sunday matinee, and taking part in the first annual costume contest, of which they won best group. The thespians won $300, which they donated back to the drama club. How lucky for the community to be raising such generous, committed youth. Other youths who participated in the festival are the AP art students, who installed a music-themed piece beside the holiday tree in the Village green. That, too, was a smashing success and speaks once again to the talent and thoughtfulness within the school system.
If you missed the shopping and entertainment during WinterFest, there is still time to get to Trumansburg to enjoy all that Main Street and beyond has to offer. Local businesses remain open through the holiday season and offer a variety of gift options for anyone on your list, from personalized gifts and gift baskets to gift certificates to favorite shops and local eateries. Of special note is the new book by lifelong resident and recently deceased local author Joseph Baldwin, “Tales of Trumansburg.” According to the Ulysses Historical Society website, “Tales of Old Trumansburg is a compilation of his popular newsletters, completed before his death in October 2017. It was his final labor of love for the village where he spent his whole life and to which he contributed so much. His stories bring to life the people and events that were instrumental in creating our beloved village. It includes over 120 historic photographs.” The book is available at the Ulysses Historical Society, at Ron Don’s Village Pub, and at the Ulysses Philomathic Library for $21, payable by cash or check to the Ulysses Historical Society.
There are also a number of events to help you relax and unwind in the hectic holiday time. There are always things happening at the library, and it’s a great place to drop by and enjoy some quiet. The Trumansburg Community Chorus will be presenting their Winter Concert on Friday, Dec. 14 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Ulysses, and there are a number of student holiday concerts to enjoy at the school on Wednesday, Dec. 12, Thursday, Dec. 13, and Wednesday, Dec. 19, all at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.
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