Creekside Christmas heralds season

Dec. 04, 2012 @ 05:25 PM

Seven-year-old Andrew Rietschel looks forward to Creekside Christmas. His favorite part? The bonfire, because he gets to roast marshmallows.

He’ll have that opportunity at this year’s Creekside Christmas set for 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7.

“My favorite memory was one year when Creekside Santa called Andrew by name,” said his mom Stephanie Rietschel. “His eyes got so big and he said, ‘he knows me!’”

Reitschel enjoys bringing Andrew and her other son Benjamin to the park.

“We just love Creekside Park,” she said “The people there are friendly and there’s always something going on.”

As she puts the finishing touches on a live Christmas tree for the gymnasium lobby, Director Elaine Albertson pauses to gaze at personalized ornaments which read “APRD” — Archdale Parks and Recreation Department.

Creekside Christmas will be the last Parks and Recreation event for Albertson, who will retire at the end of December. She along with recreation center staff are throwing themselves into preparations for the gala event.

There’s a lot to do to get ready, but the effort is worth it, she said.

“Our staff truly enjoys preparing for this event because we know that we are providing a place that families and friends can come together to celebrate Christmas,” Albertson said. “Having it the first Friday in December, we feel like we are kicking off the Christmas season here at Creekside.”

Park staff and volunteers will mobilize to place and light 1,200 luminaria.

For the first time, Creekside Christmas will feature an evening candlelight service and carol singing led by First Baptist Church of Archdale. Candles will be provided for the first 250 attendees. The church also will provide free apple cider, hot cocoa and photo opportunities for children..

Santa will be available for visits with children and Mrs. Claus will lead a cookie-decorating workshop.

Volunteers with Randolph County Partnership for Children will distribute books to children during Creekside Christmas. 

“The events that the recreation center puts on are just top-notch,” said Archdale City Manager Jerry Yarborough. “With programs like the Fourth of July or Creekside Christmas, I continue to be amazed at what a great job they do with a limited number of folks.”

For more information, call 431-1117 ext. 315.