ELDERSVILLE - The 26th-annual Christmas in the Village craft festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 1-3 throughout the village.
The festival features handmade crafts, homemade food, a photo contest and art show and museum.
The "Light-Up Night" service, which will include the ceremonial lighting of Christmas lights throughout the village, will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 31 at the Eldersville United Methodist Church located on Church Road.
The Jefferson Township Volunteer Fire Department will host a Breakfast With Santa at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 2 at the fire hall. The department also will be offering homemade kettle corn and apple butter throughout the festival.
Approximately 50 to 75 crafters will be stationed at the fire hall, Methodist church, White Church on Fire Road, Heritage Hall on Eldersville Road and Cornerstone Mennonite School on Cedar Grove Road. Vendors must produce 80 percent of the items they are selling, and no commercial vendors are accepted; it is strictly a crafts festival.
Food will be available at the fire hall, the Methodist church, Heritage Hall and the Cornerstone Mennonite Church.
Behind the fire hall, there is a new children's playground area, and the Burgettstown Community Library will host a children's activities tent.
A parade will be held at noon Nov. 2, featuring local marching units, floats, area emergency responders and Santa Claus.
The "Village Express" miniature train, built by volunteer Dave Choman, also will be available to children. Choman has built several items for the festival, including the "Welcome House," located along Cedar Grove Road, near the White Church, where directories and Christmas in the Village items will be available. Choman also made the nutcracker-inspired directional signs throughout the village. Red and white welcome signs have been made for every door on a building where the public will enter.
The White Church and Heritage Hall also are Historical Registered Landmarks, recorded on the Washington County History and Landmarks Historic Landmark Register. The White Church located at 11 Fire Road was built in 1844 as an abolitionist church, the oldest such structure still standing in the area, and eventually became a home to several local families. The Jefferson Township Historical Society purchased the building in 1992 and began restoration efforts. By 1995, the building was in use, and the society continues to use it for its monthly meetings, annual fundraising plant and garage sales and the craft festival.
Heritage Hall, located at 493 Eldersville Road, was built in 1876 as an Odd Fellows Lodge and was known as "Centennial Hall." It was sold to the historical society in 1990 for $1, and the society spent the next two years refurbishing it to be used as a community meeting hall. The society has opened a museum featuring local history on the second floor, and that museum will be open throughout the Christmas in the Village festival.
A committee of more than 20 people begin monthly planning meetings in February to prepare for the November festival, and scores of volunteers from the participating agencies take part each year.
Admission and parking are free.
For information, visit www.christmasinthevillagepa.com or call (724) 947-9015.