Saturday’s abrupt turn toward winter helped keep volunteers moving to stay warm as they helped to decorate the Lowell Showboat in preparation for Santa’s arrival on December 3. The day started at 10, continued through the afternoon and picked up again on Sunday.
Fit for a Claus
Liz Baker, Lowell Area Chamber Executive Director coordinates trimming of the Showboat. Pine branches serve as garland and bows are hung on the railings. Icicle lights help illuminate the first deck. A handful of volunteers help each year along with assistance from Lowell’s Department of Public Works.
A frame which will become a gingerbread house was constructed this past weekend. The new house will replace the cookie room during times Santa is talking with visitors. “Every year the decorations change, we try to reflect the theme of the parade, this year Santa’s Village. The only change this year will be the 2nd floor will be closed to the public for safety reasons. We will serve Hot Chocolate and cookies on the Riverwalk out of a bay of the DPW garage. The experience will still be magical!” says Liz Baker.
The entire month of November is used to lay the groundwork for the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus. And typically it’s not until Christmas Through Lowell weekend the big push for decorating begins. All of the little details that can go unnoticed yet complete the package when it comes to visiting Santa on the Showboat need to be put into place.
Lending a Hand
Political Action Committee ForwardLowell worked like elves on Saturday this year making the Showboat festive in addition to the usual volunteers. Treasurer Maryalene LaPonsie also presented Liz Baker with a $200 donation to earmarked for Showboat upkeep. The donation was a percentage of money raised during the group’s Founder’s 50/$50 membership campaign.
It takes a community to create the Santa’s Village theme on the Showboat. It’s rewarding to see volunteer hours come together knowing the work will make children and adults have a special experience when visiting the Showboat whether it’s their first time or part of a yearly tradition.
A Chilly Proposal
Downtown was bustling with activity due to Christmas Through Lowell. Passersby asked when Santa would arrive and commented on how nice the decorating was coming along. One group even asked if a volunteer would take a group photo in front of the Showboat.
The temperature and frozen precipitation did not hamper Andrew Perry’s plans to propose to Jennifer Knoblauch. Andrew waited near the Chamber building. Jennifer’s children Jordan Groth and Logan Collings were beside him wanting to take part in asking the big question. They each held a sign which spelled out “Will you marry me?”
When the moment arrived Jennifer was surprised. There were smiles, hugs, and kisses. “I was VERY surprised and did not see it coming. It caught me off guard, but I love the way he did it!” she exclaimed. Andrew and Jennifer live in Lowell and have been dating for a year and a half.
Mark Your Calendar!
The annual night-time parade kicks off Saturday, December 3 at 6pm sharp after a day filled with activities. It’s a crowd pleaser capped off with Santa and Mrs. Claus welcoming the Christmas season.
The Lowell Showboat has been the Claus’ home away from the North Pole at Christmastime since 2003. The month of December offers six opportunities to visit with Santa on the Showboat, mainly Wednesday evenings and Saturdays during the day. Friday, December 9 is a special evening event on the Riverwalk. Warm up around fires, go on a horse and carriage ride, and partake in other activities from 5:30-7:30 in the evening. Visit the Chamber’s schedule for a list of events leading up to the Night-time Santa Parade as well as additional dates and times the big guy will see visitors. Remember to dress accordingly as the waiting line is outside.