STORY WRITTEN BY VIRGINIA LINDAK
For 21st Century Media
MALVERN >> The borough is preparing to usher in the holiday season with its annual Victorian Christmas celebration at several locations this weekend. Events begin Friday evening, Dec. 5, and run all day on Saturday, Dec. 6, and offer a wide range of Christmas themed offerings for the community.
Activities include horse and carriage rides, a visit with Santa, dancing in the streets, puppet shows and several musical performances.
Local businesses between Bridge Street and Warren Avenue, including the Malvern School of Music and the new Kimberton Whole Foods, will hold open houses for people to stop in and visit.
The Malvern Business and Professional Association has produced the Victorian Christmas since the beginning, 16 years ago. Kathie Brown and her husband Jerry have been the coordinators of the event for the last 15 years.
“When it first started, it was simply a tree lighting and Santa Claus in the Pavilion in the center of the borough,” said Kathie Brown. “Since then it has grown in a very special way. Our purpose is to bring the community together in a non commercial way. We want to bring the spirit of Christmas to everyone. For the 15 years we’ve been doing it, it is very fulfilling to see grown kids come back to Malvern for this.”
Brown noted on Friday night, almost every school within the Great Valley School District will be participating with their music programs. The First Baptist Church of Malvern will host a performance by Great Valley High School’s Chamber Singers, while the Great Valley Middle School Select Chorus will sing at St. Patrick’s Church.
There will also be strolling Christmas carolers singing in the streets of the borough, including the General Wayne Eagles Caroling Group and the Frazer Mennonite Church Carolers.
The borough’s Christmas tree lighting celebration Friday will begin at 6 p.m. at the Pavilion in Burke Park where Cub Scout Pack 98 will also be holding a bake sale.
Saturday morning the fun continues with more holiday events. Pony rides, hayrides and live music will be played along King Street. Little ones can enjoy building gingerbread houses at the Malvern Bible Chapel, while photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus begin at 11 a.m. at Malvern Federal Savings bank.
Girl Scout Troop 41915 will be face painting and making crafts while Troop 41462 will be busy entertaining the public with Christmas carols. A wreath-making workshop this year will be held in the Malvern Shopping Center.
Brown said that most events offered are free to the community due in large part to the local sponsors of the event.
“The reason that we are able to provide all these wonderful free activities is because of the kindness of our sponsors,” she said.”They are all local businesses. Malvern is only one square mile and made of mostly small businesses. They give so generously and I believe it is because they see the simple, most sincere effort to put Christmas first. It’s a small town and everyone’s heart is turned on to this event.”
Attendees can donate food items and be part of a food drive that began Nov. 1st and runs through Dec. 13th.
Food items will be collected in two locations; at Malvern Public Library and Malvern Federal Savings Bank, throughout both days of the festival. Goods will be donated to the Chester County Food Bank.
More information and a complete schedule can be found at www.malvernvictorianchristmas.org