HAWLEY, Pa. — While we don't know for sure whether Sarah Clauss from Hawley is related to the big man in red, we do know she's played a role in transforming her hometown into a wintry scene that rivals the North Pole since she was a kid.
"I remember when it was starting when I was in elementary school, helping sell cookies and things like that with the Wallenpaupack band as part of the parade," Clauss said.
Now, she helps oversee Winterfest with the other members of the Downtown Hawley Partnership.
There are so many individual events that make up this three-day festival that it's almost impossible to do and see it all.
We asked some of the organizers what their two "must-dos" are.
For Kelly Alogna, it's the cookie walk.
"It starts at nine o'clock, my favorite time to have cookies. So that's what I do. But you have to get there early because once they sell out, they're gone. And then my second favorite thing is probably the horse and carriage ride. I think that that's very quintessential wintertime activity."
"I would definitely say the Ritz Christmas show, that is Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m., and probably the beer tour. It's a great way to see the town," Clauss said.
The town is certainly something to see during Winterfest.
"I am a big fan of creating traditions and memories with your family and friends, and being able to come to your own small town and get that sort of small-town feeling just like in the movies," said Tiffany Hoffman, committee member of Downtown Hawley Partnership.
If you stop in the Hawley Hub at some point over the weekend and notice all of the trees, you'll soon discover they are doing more than adding some festive decor.
"We ask organizations, families, anybody that wants to participate, to figure out a cause that's near and dear to their heart and decorate a tree on their behalf. You can come in, take a look at trees, pick your favorite and vote on it by a small donation of any monetary amount. The trees that get the most likes and the most votes via donation. We'll get additional grand prize donations from the downtown Hawley partnership towards their cause," Hoffman said.
It all kicks off Friday, December 9, 2022, at 5 p.m. with a holiday movie in the park. Events run throughout the weekend in Hawley.
See more news stories on WNEP's Youtube page.