SOMERS, N.Y.—The lighting of the town Christmas tree, cheery holiday music, free hot cocoa and a photo op with Santa Claus were some of the attractions at the Town of Somers annual holiday celebration Sunday.
The event, at the Somers Town House, was sponsored by the Somers Historical Society, the Lions Club, the Chamber of Commerce and the Girl Scouts. It kicked off with two unique exhibits: "A Lionel Christmas," featuring guest curator Joe Schiavone’s collection of antique Lionel trains, and the town’s 10th annual Gingerbread House display.
Meme’s Treats Bakery of Bedford Hills presented a replica of the historic Elephant Hotel. Somers resident Dawn White, Meme’s owner and baker and Meme’s pastry chef Kelly Strawbridge created the structure with candy donated by Noka Joe's in Katonah.
Outside on the lawn, members of Girl Scout Troop 2765 Cassie Panzarino and Lauren Felis collected donations of gloves, hats and scarves for Westchester's Christmas Dinner.
"It's so the less fortunate don’t have to have a holiday without any food or gifts,” said Panzarino, a Somers High School ninth grader. This is the first year their troop has volunteered, she said.
Attendees at Sunday’s event were also encouraged to bring toy donations for the less fortunate to Saint Luke’s Church and the Somers Historical Museum.
Gail and Michael Bennett, owners of Hudson Valley Llamas in Putnam Valley, brought several of their farm’s docile llamas for children to pet. The Bennetts have rescued 13 llamas, which Gail said means she and her husband deal with “13 different personalities” every day.
“They’re very good with kids,” she said, as groups of curious children reached out to touch.
The Elephant Hotel, built circa 1825, was decorated for the holidays by the Somers Historical Society, under the guidance of Margaret Timone. The museum, which collects material related to local history and the early 19th century American circus, opened its doors for an open house Sunday.