It takes an Alpine Village

Church creates display to highlight meaning of Christmas
Dec. 08, 2013 @ 08:01 AM

As you walk in, a large clock tower dominates the view. To the left and right of the clock tower are old-timey shops with gingerbread, candy, stockings, toys teddy bears and books on display. Toward the back of the large building is a train station and puppet show stage. Of course, the scene would not be complete without some falling snow and that bearded man in the red suit and hat.

Since Thursday, the old Lenoir High School gymnasium has been transformed into an Alpine Christmas Village, thanks to the efforts of the College Avenue Baptist Church, which is across the street. For the past five years, the church has set up the elaborate display for area schoolchildren and folks who want to be told about the true meaning of Christmas.

"It's about giving back to the community, sharing the magic of Christmas," said Janice Jetton, who with her husband, David, organized the event. "It's not just about the gift giving, but also the birth of Christ. We want to share the joy and magic of Christmas."

On Friday, children from Gamewell and West Lenoir Elementary Schools stopped by the village for some free toys and to experience the magic. They were also treated to a puppet show put on by church volunteers. Among the students was 10-year-old Klanique Corpening, a fifth-grader at West Lenoir Elementary, a school with more than its share of kids on free or reduced-price lunches. She said her mother struggles to feed her and her brother with only one income. When it was her turn to talk to Santa, she simply asked for a phone, a pair of skates and some clothes for Christmas. The trip to the Alpine Village was just enough to lift her spirits, even if only for the holidays.

"They found a way to get stuff for me and my family," Klanique said. "I'll have a little better Christmas."



The Alpine Christmas Village 2013 event is booked through the end of today. However, some cancellations occur, and anyone without a reservation who still wants to go is welcome. Tours of the village begin at 2 p.m. and end at 8:15 p.m. For more information, call 754-6482.