Families gather for Christmas at Crossroads

Near the front of a long line of families waiting to see Santa Claus were four siblings from Brownstown.

Lacey Davis, 14, and her younger brothers, Hayden Davis, 12, Brayden Elgar, 10, and Jaxson Brown, 7, took advantage of an unseasonably warm December night Friday for an opportunity to share their Christmas wish list.

While Lacey isn’t quite sure what she wants, the boys know: A remote-control car for Jaxson, a Tech Deck skateboard for Brayden and a good time with family for Hayden.

“You can have a good time, and it’s something to get out and do,” Hayden said of why the family came to Christmas at Crossroads at the downtown Seymour park. “Everyone gets to get together in the community, and it’s just something to bring back from COVID-19.”

Lacey agreed it was nice to get out and spend time with family, including their mother, Savannah Brown. Hayden liked seeing Santa, and Jaxson enjoyed the hot chocolate.

After the visit with Santa, the family waited in another line to see Clarice the reindeer and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Ryan with Silly Safaris Inc.

“We’ve lived in Brownstown for three years, but this is the first Christmas event that we’ve come to, and we wanted to check it out, and the kids wanted to see Santa,” Brown said.

Friday night’s event, organized by the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, included the arrival of Santa and Mayor Matt Nicholson on a lighted Seymour firetruck.

Both then went to the JCB Pavilion, where chamber Director Dan Robison counted down for Jennifer Rorick and her children to flip the switch to turn on the city’s Christmas tree for the first time this holiday season.

Santa’s next stop was sitting down outside the Santa House to greet children, take pictures and hand out candy canes.

Meanwhile, carolers from The Point in Seymour sang, and Dee Smith and Sasha Norman with the chamber handed out cookies and hot chocolate.

Considering the work put in by the Seymour Parks and Recreation Department to decorate Crossroads Community Park and put the Santa House in place and the chamber to make Christmas at Crossroads possible, Robison said it was great to see the park full Friday night.

“It’s awesome. The spirit of Christmas is alive and well in Seymour,” he said. “It’s great to see families out, children out, young people, even some older folks out enjoying the spirit of Christmas tonight, so it’s a lot of fun.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic preventing an event like this from happening in 2020, Robison said it was good to bring it back this year.

“Like every community on the planet, we’ve been through a rough time the past couple years, and this just reminds us of what normal is and getting back to something that’s familiar, coming together as a community to celebrate something that’s good and positive,” he said. “We need this.”

The smiles of kids and adults alike made Robison smile.

“This makes it worth everything that we put into it, and we have a lot of great community partners and folks that have sponsored this and come alongside us to make it happen — folks with the city, the fire department, folks at The Point,” he said. “Just everybody coming together, that’s what it’s about.”