Pioneer Park gets rustic

Ferndale Heritage Society’s Olde Fashioned Christmas set for Friday through Sunday

By Brent Lindquist
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DSC_0119 FERNDALE — Getting Pioneer Park ready for the Ferndale Heritage Society’s annual Olde Fashioned Christmas takes a great deal of planning, but for the people on the task, it’s all worth it.
  “It’s a lot of work, but it’s so much fun to see the joy on the kids’ faces,” said Sue Brand, heritage society member.
  Sue’s husband Tom is brining his massive collection of almost 400 miniature Santa Clauses with him to fill one of the park’s cabins.
  That isn’t the only bit of fun to be found within the houses, however.
  The overarching theme this year is “A Rustic Christmas,” and each cabin has something inside for kids and families to enjoy. All but two of the cabins feature hands-on crafts, for instance. One will feature Santa Claus himself.
  The event also features old-fashioned games, music and a working general store featuring souvenirs for sale. All the hosts will be in period costumes.
  The first stop for kids will be the one-room schoolhouse.
  “Kids write a letter to Santa Claus and then go next-door to the log cabin post office and mail that letter to Santa,” heritage society director Linda Harkleroad said.
  The pioneer church will feature live entertainment, as well as Tillicum House. There will be cookies, hot cider and refreshments on hand, as well as horse-drawn carriage rides.
  “When the horses aren’t dragging the wagon p and down the road for the carriage rides, they’ll be in the barn so kids can pet them,” Harkleroad said.
  Harkleroad said people come back to the Olde Fashioned Christmas year after year because it’s the kind of tradition that isn’t found much these days.
  “I think families are maybe trying to keep a little family tradition around,” she said. “Word of mouth spreads, and new people show up every year who are just in awe.”
  Harkleroad said the heritage society always makes a big push for the non-commercial side of the holidays. She said the admission fee covers entry to everything in the park; the only items inside that cost money are the souvenirs at the general store.
  The Ferndale Heritage Society’s Olde Fashioned Christmas will run from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4, from 1 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5 and from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6.
  Admission is $4 for adults and $3 for kids. Children under one year old are free.