Glenn Carroll, veteran president of the Johnston Community Center Association, sat back in his chair and smiled.
Suddenly, the dedicated JCCA leader said in a rather sustaining voice: “I have some good news for everyone; Santa Claus has cleared his busy schedule to come down from the North Pole to visit with the children”
Carroll’s surprise announcement met with cheers aplenty; especially because it means that jolly old Saint Nick will be inside Johnston War Memorial Park this Saturday afternoon, December 8, from 3 to 5 p.m. helping the JCCA and Parks and Recreation Department host its annual Holiday Festival.
He also explained that parents are welcome to bring a camera or their cell phones because “Santa Claus has agreed to pose for a picture with their children.”
The JCCA president, who shares duties with his longtime friend and Vice President Mark Gilmore, also announced that “we will be giving every Johnston child that comes to the Holiday Festival a free ticket that will make them eligible to win one of several bicycles we’ll be giving away.”
There is, however, one catch to a youngster receiving that free ticket to become eligible for the annual Holiday Festival Bike Drawing.
“They must be a Johnston resident to win a bicycle,” Carroll said. “We absolutely look forward to the Holiday Festival and putting smiles of all the children, especially when it comes to the bicycle raffle.”
The 2018 Holiday Festival, which again was backed by a beautiful and colorful town-wide invitation created by graphics guru Vin Jackvony, who doubles as the Johnston Parks and Recreation Department’s Program Coordinator, will be food, music, refreshments and of course the bike raffle.
“We are again pleased to sponsor the Holiday Festival,” said Carroll. “This is a terrific tradition that began many, many years ago and is designed to spread happiness and holiday cheer among all the families in Johnston.”
Although Carroll didn’t announce whether or not the fireplace inside the famed Dunnell Building will be lighted, he did want Johnstonians to know that “the Holiday Festival is a free event and we encourage parents to bring their children and meet Santa Claus.”
Mayor Joseph Polisena and people like Johnston Parks and Recreation Director Dan Mazzulla have also extended an invitation to each and every resident to come and partake in the family fun and to also “Please help those in need by bringing a non-perishable canned good Saturday.”