PENNSYLVANIA'S #1 WEEKLY NEWSPAPER • locally owned since 1854

Let’s move tree-lighting, Santa back to Hoffer: Editorial

Posted 12/11/19

We were happy to see that Middletown borough’s Christmas tree lighting and opening of the new Santa Claus house went off without a hitch Nov. 30.

But based partly on our recent editorial …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Let’s move tree-lighting, Santa back to Hoffer: Editorial

Posted

We were happy to see that Middletown borough’s Christmas tree lighting and opening of the new Santa Claus house went off without a hitch Nov. 30.

But based partly on our recent editorial reminding us how important parks are to a community, and the fact that Hoffer Park is already decorated for the season, among other reasons, we would like to humbly suggest that next year’s festivities be moved from the private property of St. Peter’s Kierch back to Hoffer Park.

The park was a traditional site of many Christmas activities, but they slowly migrated away in recent years.

Now is the time to re-establish one of the borough’s gems, Hoffer Park, as the place to go in December.

We are not being critical of recent tree lightings. The recent ones held at the McNair House (when it was borough owned) and at St. Peter’s Kierch have been great for the community.

But here are the top reasons to go back to Hoffer.

• Time and money are already being spent to decorate for Christmas in Hoffer Park. 

• There is more parking at Hoffer Park.

• The event would be held in a public, municipally owned space and not a church-owned property.

• No public streets would need to be closed.

• The building in Hoffer Park could host Santa’s workshop, which could be a site of fun events for children separate from visiting with Santa. Look at Royalton. It lit up its tree Friday and then Santa Claus went to the borough building. Children had their picture taken with Santa, made glittery pinecones, ate milk and cookies and had their faces painted. The building at Hoffer Park could also be a place for kids to wait in line to see Santa Claus during inclement weather.

• There is a kitchen in the building which would allow a local nonprofit to give away (or sell) hot chocolate, cookies, etc.

• A Christmas tree still could be taken to Hoffer Park for decoration, just as was done this year.

• The location would still allow for horse-and-carriage rides, and in fact might make them even better.

• The Hetrick Center of Middletown was represented at the tree-lighting with its own trailer. If other businesses wanted to follow suit, it would be easier to do at Hoffer Park, in the style of National Night Out.

• Discussion of selling a limited variety of alcoholic beverages on site during the tree-lighting ceremony withered on the vine before Middletown Borough Council in November. But if this ever gets momentum, we would rather see it be allowed for such an event in a more controllable area such as Hoffer than on borough streets.

There is great momentum in the borough for this Christmas event, and we thank all those who make it happen each year.

We think such a move of Hoffer Park would make the event even better and more memorable. Let’s make Christmas at Hoffer Park the place to be in 2020.