Reminder Assistant Editor
WESTFIELD After over four weeks of abundant holiday programming that would make even the most Scrooge-like of citizens embrace the holiday spirit, Westfield on Weekends' (WoW) Dickens Days are coming to a close.
"Snowfire! All Hail the Winter Solstice!" on Dec. 21 will be the elaborate culmination of Dickens Days and mark the beginning of the winter season.
"Snowfire! is my favorite event of the year, as it celebrates the end of autumn and the beginning of winter," Bob Plasse, chairperson of Dickens Days, said. "It brings together all the fun that WoW stands for. There is the song and story of the Magic Sceptre, the spectacle of the procession to the Snowfire and the Snowfire itself around which the community gathers to celebrate our differences and similarities."
Plasse explained that "Snowfire! All Hail the Winter Solstice!" has become the traditional event to end Dickens Days by celebrating the magic, mystery and folklore of the season through one particular children's book.
The festivities will begin at Amelia Park at 6:30 p.m. with a stage portrayal of the children's book "The Magic Sceptre: The Legend of Blue Santa." The book, written and illustrated by long-time commercial and industrial product designer Joan Klatil Creamer, answers in detail many children's questions about Santa Claus' methodology.
Creamer told Reminder Publications that she wrote this book in order to answer many questions she had about Santa as a child, such as how he enters a home without a chimney. How does Santa know the wishes of children? How is he able to enter every person's house all in one night? The magic sceptre the source of Santa's abilities as well as his heightened sense of hearing will be incorporated into "Snowfire!" as the sceptre is graciously handed over to Father Frost for his rule over the winter season.
Creamer said her book is meant to encourage and foster children's imaginations, in the event that a child's illusions of Santa end when a schoolmate tells them he never existed.
"If you believe in the Christmas spirit there is a Santa Claus," she said, adding that she is very enthusiastic to share her story with the Westfield community.
The story will be told by Santa and Mrs. Claus as they exit the Santa House -- which Plasse said has been remodeled and based upon Creamer's book -- to share the stage with Father Frost as well as lead the procession to the giant Snowfire behind the Amelia Park Children's Museum.
Plasse said all who wish to participate are encouraged to bring bells to ring during this candlelight procession. The parade will culminate with the singing of carols by all in attendance accompanied by the Westfield High School Brass Choir.
He said that each year he has had a growing response within the community to participate in all of the Dickens Days events. Plasse added that many local businesses and residents have donated goods for this particular event such as hot mulled cider, hot chocolate, doughnuts and other holiday goodies for people to enjoy throughout the evening.
Snowfire will end at the museum at 7 p.m. in time for Santa and Mrs. Claus to return to the Santa House for additional meet-and-greets and photo opportunities until 8 p.m.
For more information about WoW or the remaining Dickens Days events, go to www.westfieldonweekends.org. For more information about "The Magic Sceptre: The Legend of Blue Santa" go to www.themagicsceptre.com.