December 10, 2008 Edition

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Alvin Lewis portrayed Bob Cratchit, while Tammy Cole played Mrs. Cratchit and Hunter Holt was Tiny Tim. The other Cratchit children were played by Phoebe Brown, Samuel Lewis, Terry Crafton and Macie Koling.

Hoxie 'Dickens in the Park'
event deemed a huge success

Frank Witowski Jr.
Staff Writer

Train rides, horse and buggy rides, Victorian-dressed Christmas carolers, a re-enactment of the Charles Dickens' play "A Christmas Carol" and visits with Santa were just a few of the highlights of the "Dickens in the Park" event held Saturday from 3-6 p.m. at the Hoxie City Park. Hundreds came out and enjoyed the festivities.

All activities were free, and refreshments were served at no charge. "This year, more than ever, we needed a dose of Christmas spirit," said Karen Williams, event organizer.

"This may be the only Christmas some people get this year. It was a huge success, and we're so excited and will start planning for next year's event next week."

Williams said the "Dickens in the Park" committee began planning the event in January. She added that the community and family event was sponsored by individuals, church groups, other organizations and businesses.

Santa met with children in the park's train caboose, and children and adults enjoyed the horse and buggy rides around the park and surrounding blocks.

Tommy Garrett was extremely busy serving as the conductor of a make-shift train that gave rides around the park. Several Christmas carolers dressed in Victorian costume sang in the park spreading Christmas cheer, and various organizations served cookies, donuts, popcorn and hot chocolate.

It was a Christmas celebration that many residents will remember for years to come. In remarks just before the re-enactment of "The Christmas Carol," Hoxie Mayor Donnie Roberts said the event was a success and will become an annual event. He praised committee chair Karen Williams for her vision for Dickens Christmas in the Park and presented her with a plaque.

"The Christmas Carol" was performed at 4 p.m. on a stage in the park. Michael Winberry portrayed Ebenezer Scrooge who was visited by Marley's Ghost (Jim Green), the Ghost of Christmas Past (Levi Lewis), Ghost of Christmas Present (Marlyn Tate) and Ghost of Christmas Future (John Holt). Tim Taylor served as the narrator, Charles Dickens.

Tami Watson portrayed Scrooge's nephew, Fred, while Alvin Lewis portrayed Bob Cratchit. Tammy Cole played Mrs. Cratchit and Hunter Holt was Tiny Tim. The other Cratchit children were played by Phoebe Brown, Samuel Lewis, Terry Crafton and Macie Koling.

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