YMCA hosts North Pole Extravaganza
NASHUA – The season got a little brighter on Saturday, as the YMCA of Greater Nashua hosted its North Pole Extravaganza, a free community event for families and friends.
The morning was packed with activities, including a pancake breakfast, face painting, ornament making, letter writing to Santa, a musical presentation by the YMCA’s dance squad and a chance for the little ones to visit St. Nick and get their picture taken.
The YMCA’s Phil Coad said 410 people preregistered for the day of fun and surprises.
“Based on the plate count, we’ve had about 600 people show,” Coad said. “It was a great morning. Joey Peavey of Crescendo’s Gate performed, and he usually volunteers his time for us during the holidays. And the In Motion dance team, who normally practice on Saturday mornings, were here. We started building this last night at 7 o’clock, and finished at about 9 o’clock this morning, trying to get the gym set up and ready to go.”
Saturday’s wonderment is just part of a month of 12 holiday events that the YMCA is offering, called “The 12 days of W.H.A.T. (World, Holidays and Traditions.)
“This is a new concept this year as well,” Coad said. “Rather than going with the 12 Days of Christmas, and the commercialized version of everything. Every one of these events are mini-events or larger events – they’re all focused on a holiday tradition.”
Upcoming special events include “Color a Wooden Shoe,” from Netherlands (Dec. 16 at the Nashua YMCA), “Paper Bag Lanterns,” from Mexico (Dec. 18) and “Make a Broom,” from Norway (Dec. 23), both at the Merrimack YMCA.
“The latter incorporates the tradition that they hide their brooms on Christmas eve because they’re afraid that witches will steal them,” Coad said.
Other traditions from Germany, Brazil and the Philippines will be celebrated.
“We’re trying to get it out there, and say, ‘whether you’re a member or not, come and have a good time,'” he said. “I think people who may have not known that we are even here are coming to enjoy breakfast with Santa. And some people can’t afford to go to see Santa at the mall, so this is a great way for them to come and see him. The pictures with Santa have a $5 charge, but just visiting him is totally free.”
For more information, visit the YMCA’s Facebook page.