A visit to the Alpine Village
The Christmas gift of a local church to the community will be open for another weekend.
College Avenue Baptist Church will offer the Alpine Village for citizens to enjoy, giving them an early dose of holiday cheer while enhancing the true meaning of Christmas.
The village, started in 2009, opened last week at the old Lenoir High School gymnasium to large crowds, and more of the same is expected this weekend for the final three days of the event.
The Alpine Village will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with two sessions offered each night.
When the village was opened to the community for the first time four years ago, it was such a hit that organizers had to alter the presentation format to meet fire code regulations. As a result, sessions with limited numbers of people have been offered.
The sessions for this year’s event filled up quickly.
Dr. Janice Jetton, one of the event organizers, said online registration started Nov. 1, and all the slots were filled by Nov. 15. Church officials added some slots to accommodate those people wanting to visit. And while the slots are full now, people wanting to attend still may be allowed to do so if groups or individuals with time slots are not able to come.
“Anyone wanting to come still may be able to get in,” Jetton said. “They may have to wait, but we’d love to have them come join us.”
Times on Friday and Saturday are 6-7:15 p.m. and 7:30-8:45 p.m. Sunday’s sessions will be from 5-6:15 p.m. and 6:45-8 p.m.
Members of College Avenue started work on the village concept in 2009, constructing the buildings and creating the scenery used to build it inside the gymnasium. More work has been put in to the enhancement of the village since that first year, all to make it more appealing to those who visit.
The outreach project gives church members an opportunity to reach out to the community, especially children in a time of economic uncertainty, providing a chance to make Christmas a little brighter for some and share the story of Jesus Christ at the same time.
“We want everybody to feel the joy of Christmas, and we want to celebrate the birth of Jesus; that’s the main purpose,” Jetton said. “The gifts and trees are nice, but the greatest gift of all is Jesus.”
The village consists of different shoppes in an Alpine setting. Like those Alpine villages, there will be quaint shoppes for the children to enjoy along with snow, plenty of Christmas trees, street lights and white picket fences.
Visitors can spend time meandering through the gingerbread cookie shoppe, card shoppe, the ornament shoppe, the toy shoppe, the angel shoppe, the candy shoppe, stocking shoppe, book shoppe, teddy bear shoppe and reindeer food shoppe. There will be an area for children to write letters to Santa along with a puppet show, stage for town events and an area for the kids to visit with old Saint Nick himself.
There is a chapel complete with a live nativity scene, and an impressive clock tower provides the centerpiece for the Alpine Village brought to downtown Lenoir. There’s even a train station that features an operational train that runs through the village.
Church members working at the village will assist children with various crafts they get to keep and provide gifts to them as they visit each of the unique shoppes
“It gets better every year,” Jetton said. “We think this one is the best yet.”
For more information or to check on attending a session, contact the church at 828-754-6482 or visit online at www.cabc.cc.