Christmas in Fallasburg party enjoys huge turnout
By Emma Palova
Fallasburg, MI – It was a night to remember. After much anticipation and preparation, the “Christmas in Fallasburg” party rolled in with fanfare last Saturday on Dec. 9. Snow was on the ground and we didn’t get the promised arctic blast by the local weatherman.
The Covered Bridge was all lit up and created a great photo opportunity at night. Just driving across the bridge in the silence of the night was an experience in itself. Of course the bridge allows only One-Way traffic at the speed of walking under the fine of $5.
I always feel nervous before each event, including my own, after all the marketing and promotions. The Christmas party is a premier event for the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS).
“We never know how many people will come out,” said FHS president Ken Tamke.
However, the party turned out to be the most successful party ever with 75 people in attendance.
“The fire was magnificent,” said Tamke. “Villager Craig Wood spent the whole year building it.”
The party started in 2006 and it is Tamke’s brainchild. Previously the FHS hosted a “wild game” dinner at the Fallas House. The Fallas House is small and not too many people could attend.
“We never made any money on it,” Tamke said. “The caterer did.”
Tamke lobbied to use the one-room schoolhouse instead, get a band, serve beer and wine, and to have a potluck.
“There was a brush pile in the field that first year, so we lit it,” Tamke said. “Craig Wood took over the fire. We’ve been going with the same formula ever since.”
The FHS volunteers put a lot of work into getting the old one-room schoolhouse ready for the annual event. This includes decorations, large round tables and a buffet style dinner, while making sure everything works including the heater and electricity.
In other words, it was a true old-fashioned Christmas.
It is also the favorite FHS event considering the atmosphere in the historic pioneer village of Fallasburg all decorated for Christmas.
People packed out the schoolhouse like never before. There was standing room only between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. This year, we enjoyed newcomers and a younger crowd as well. There were families with children.
It was heartwarming to see the oldest member of the FHS Edwin Roth, 97, come in with his daughter Jeanne Roth Vandersloot. Roth never misses out on an FHS event.
Everybody enjoyed the music by live band Hawks & Owls. They played non-stop. The spirit of the night was in meeting new people as well as enjoying old friends. Even some people on snowmobiles stopped by. With new people involved also appeared new dishes like the delicious French green bean casserole, as well as the mainstay meatballs in two different versions, turkey and stuffing.
We headed out to the bonfire, that warmed up the night in a large radius around it. People gathered in a circle around the bonfire for great conversation and to enjoy the warmth of the fire.
As we came back, the bell rang in the belfry announcing the end of the festivities.
I feel honored to be a part of the FHS preservation efforts including the Christmas magic in Fallasburg.
Thank you for a great year. Looking forward to 2018. Happy holidays.
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