Delighted, boisterous children were everywhere during the inaugural Wilmot Express – a collaborative, progressive event on December 9 in Wilmot. It was obvious that parents had fun, too. About 70 adults and 40 children made at least one of the three stops on the Wilmot Express.
From the fabulous spaghetti supper at Chez Firehouse, the Wilmot Volunteer Fire Department’s occasional eatery, to yummy cookies served for dessert at the Wilmot Community Association’s (WCA) Red Barn, to listening to Santa Claus read The Night Before Christmas at the Wilmot Public Library, the event offered a trainload of fun from 3:30 to 8 PM. After they sang carols and saw the lights lit on the Christmas tree outside the firehouse, youngsters were thrilled to see Santa climb aboard a fire truck and travel with horns blaring and lights flashing to the second stop on the Wilmot Express, the WCA’s Red Barn. Firefighter Sean Brunel drove the Wilmot Fire Department’s 87 Engine No. 2 with Mr. Claus aboard. Police Chief David White provided the escort.
When they arrived at the WCA, many children had their photos taken with Santa with the assistance of Wilmot resident and professional photographer, John Swindell. Cookie decorating for youngsters was a huge hit as was sending holiday greetings to the troops via ready-made cards that kids wrote on and posted in a specially designed mailbox.
Then it was “All Aboard” and time to depart for the third stop on the Express. Santa Claus and his escort chugged off to the Wilmot Public Library. The “train” of happy followers followed in their own vehicles and arrived right on schedule. When he finished reading, Santa presented each youngster with an age-appropriate book.
The many, many hours spent by Patty McGoldrick, executive director of the WCA; Kyla Pillsbury of the Wilmot Volunteer Fire Department; and Rosanna Dude, director of the Wilmot Public Library ensured the success of this new holiday tradition in Wilmot.
Words Of Thanks
More than 125 people participated on December 9 in the inaugural Wilmot Express, a collaborative, progressive event sponsored by the Wilmot Volunteer Fire Department, the WCA, and the Wilmot Public Library.
Starting with dinner, tree lighting, and the arrival of Santa Claus at the fire station, the “train” of attendees followed Santa – who rode on a fire truck, escorted by Police Chief David White – to the WCA’s Red Barn for dessert. Then, it was “All Aboard!” for the library – the final stop on this holiday journey. At the library, Santa read The Night Before Christmas to the young and the young at heart.
The fire department collected more than 50 non-perishable items that were donated to the Wilmot Food Pantry.
All three organizations extend a very special thank you to Santa Claus for taking time out of his busy schedule to spend the evening in Wilmot!
Kyla Pillsbury from the fire department; Patty McGoldrick from the WCA; and Rosanna Dude from the library, worked together to ensure the success of this fabulous, well-planned, and well-executed event.
Of course, volunteers ensure the success of an event like this.
Fire department volunteers included:
Kelsie Lee, who just established her graphic design company, Triad, created promotional materials for this event including posters, magnet design, and advertisements for the Kearsarge Shopper. She also helped to decorate the fire station and the Christmas tree.
Sam Clarke helped with many last-minute details. He also set up the Santa next to the Smokey Bear fire conditions sign outside the station.
Acting as Santa’s chauffeur, Sean Brunell drove the fire truck that transported the Jolly Old Elf to each stop on the Wilmot Express.
Tom Scully was the head chef. He was assisted in the kitchen by Heather Wood.
Other folks who assisted with the event include: Phil Nicholson, Jennifer Leary, Doug Rayno, Sarah Rayno, Colby Wood, Scott Carpenter, Jay Lyon, and Ethan Ballin.
At the WCA, John Swindell, professional photographer, and his able assistant, Emily Swindell, took photos of children with Mr. Claus. Annette Vogel, publisher of the InterTown Record assisted in many ways. Other volunteers included: Brian Neuberger, Ann and Marc Davis, Mary Fanelli, Rhonda Gauthier, Amber Gove, John Gutman, Lisah Carpenter, Lindy Heim, Hanlong Fu, Ana Isabel Diaz Garrido, Lorena Yemina Pereyra, and Tzuling Chiu.
At the library, Jackie Thompson helped youngsters get settled before Santa arrived.
And finally, all three organizations sincerely thank the residents of Wilmot and neighboring towns for attending this event.