Archived Story

Garden club hosts Hometown Christmas celebration

Published 4:55pm Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Four Flags Garden Club will host its 21st annual Hometown Christmas celebration from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Historic Amtrak Depot, 600 Dey St., off North Fifth Street. There is no charge to attend this event, which includes a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, homemade cookies, cider and candy.

The last scene of the 1991 John Candy movie, “Only the Lonely,” was filmed at the depot on a warm summer night. To create a Christmas scene, the studio placed lights on the roofline and fake snow on the ground. Many Niles locals served as stand-ins.”

After the filming, the studio left the lights behind and the garden club, along with community members worked diligently in a campaign to “Keep the Lights Burning.” This was a fund-raising endeavor to rewire the depot in order to use the lights, as the movie company had used portable generators. And now 21 years later and two sets of lights later, the most recent being energy- efficient LEDs, the event marks its 21st anniversary.

Earlier this year, a new roof was put on the depot and additional lights were installed.

The depot interior and exterior will be decorated with fresh greens, window topiaries, wreaths and handmade ornaments on the Fraser fir tree donated by Pinecrest Christmas Tree Farm, of Galien.

Musical entertainment will be provided by the Lighthouse Chorus under the direction of Gene Hanover.

Niles Mayor Mike McCauslin, will address the group.

A drawing will be held at 5:45 p.m. for two round-trip tickets, compliments of Amtrak, from Niles to. The tickets are free, and you must be present to win.

The official lighting of the depot outside lights will be at 6 p.m.

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