Some snapshots of the new holiday decorations around Norwood Young America’s Willkommen Memorial Park(Photos submitted by Karen Hallquist)

Holiday season will soon be upon us, and what better way to celebrate than to get out with your community? This year, Norwood Young America’s Holiday Extravaganza will not only be in a new location, but also feature more fun sights for the community to get out and enjoy. And it’s all thanks to the generosity of the sponsors around NYA.

This will be the 5th annual Holiday Extravaganza for NYA, and each year the party got bigger and bigger. So big, in fact, that the Extravaganza ended up having to move to the Willkommen Memorial Park and Pavilion to accommodate all the guests that attend.

“We outgrew the old spot, which is awesome!” said Jamie Smith, one of the Economic Development Commission. “We can offer more at Willkommen and it helps out with some safety concerns, too.”

The previous location was at the five-way stop near the schools, which was of course shut down for safety reasons. Now, at Willkommen Park, there’s not only more space, but also the option of being indoors if frigid weather comes early this year.

The only thing that will still take place at the five-way stop is the tree lighting, which will take place at 5pm on November 30. There are a couple options for people to get to the tree lighting, since folks enjoying the Extravaganza would have to cross Highway 212. Guests can walk, drive, or take the third option offered by Lano Equipment and take one of the hayride tractors across 212 to the tree lighting and back to Willkommen. The only uncertainty with the hayride is how many tractors will be available, according to Smith, since normally it’s just been one tractor.

Everything else associated with the Holiday Extravaganza will be at Willkommen Park. Those things include Mr. and Mrs. Claus, possibly the Grinch, live reindeer, Lano Equipment’s hayrides, Christmas music, and fire pits for s’mores. The fire pits will be monitored by the NYA fire department to ensure safety, but it is recommended that parents help young children with s’mores making to keep everything safe and jolly. There are also crafts and kids activities sponsored by Children of Tomorrow to keep the little ones engaged. Finally, there will be chili, soup, hot dogs, and hot cocoa available to keep everyone warm and full throughout the evening.

One new aspect coming to the Holiday Extravaganza is a legitimate, antique little red truck. The truck will be driven in by Steve and Tammy Trevesh from Hamburg, the owners have the truck, for photo opportunities and to keep the cheer going. Smith recommended everyone bring in a camera to get as many photos as possible.

All of this is free to the public to come and enjoy.

“The reason that this is free to the public is that several local businesses donate,” said Smith. “Many businesses here and in Hamburg donate out of pocket just to keep this free.”

Everything that goes into the Extravaganza is from donations. The food, the entertainment, the equipment, and even the decorations. In fact, with the new location, new decorations were needed. Vickerman Companies partnered with the city to help offer new holiday decorations for not only the Extravaganza, but also both downtowns, Faxon and Central’s fencing, the Veteran’s Park, Lions Shelter, and Roy Clay to keep everything festive. Those decorations were put up recently, giving everyone the chance to admire the new look. Some might even notice the decorations are adorned with donors’ names as a thank you for their generosity.

This year’s Holiday Extravaganza will take place on November 30 from 4pm-6pm, and is taking place on the same day as Small Business Saturday. This means a huge day of fun for locals to not only to prepare for Christmas, but also to get in the holiday spirit before Christmas makes its way here. For those driving out, some roads will be closed due to the events so drive safe and keep an eye out for pedestrians making their way to the park. Happy holidays!.

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