PAGE – Sierra Horrocks tilted here and there, went off-axis, and then fell on the synthetic ice rink at the park. Her sister, Sydney Horrocks, giggled as she watched Sierra get back up to try it again.
The shivering crowd smiled and watched as Sierra and Sydney, among others, skated on the solid polymer sheet material made from polyethylene plastic. It was obvious this lake town did not need to be covered in snow to be festive, but that did not stop it turning into a winter wonderland Saturday evening.
The synthetic ice rink at the basketball court was just the thing to shift the mood from lake to holiday with the aroma of buttered popcorn and hot chili dogs in the cold air.
Thousands of lights glittered the trees at the John C. Page Memorial Park and on the dozen or so Christmas trees that were donated to families in need. Performers sang, setting the tone for the festivity and festival-goers sipped hot chocolate as they either visited the vendor booths, took a candlelit stroll, got their portraits taken by Whitney Mondragon and Chloe Olander at their photo booth, took selfies with “Olaf,” the snowman from the animated film “Frozen,” sat around a firepit, or watched “Elf” on a big screen. This was the city’s inaugural, “Christmas in the Park: Home for the Holidays.”
The Page Police officers had the best view of the festivities standing near the south door of the police substation where local artists, bakers, cooks, and small business owners sold their arts and crafts and products.
“I love to see the kids come up (to hers and business partner Warren Johnson’s baked goodies booth),” said Margaret Rogers who, along with Johnson, sold baked goods such as chocolate chip and gingerbread cookies, and pumpkin and banana-raisin muffins. “I have them pick out what they want, and it just makes me feel good. I’m happy with that. The kids just crack me up, they’re a lot of fun.”
Rogers says this is the first time the city has put up an event like this and she would like to see it come through. (This) is probably the only time I would see them at a gathering like this. This is really nice for Page.”
While festival-goers focused on the fantastic and unique gift opportunities, one could not miss Melissa Addakai’s booth where she sold healthy hot drinks and gift bundles containing either a spa kit or a peppermint mocha kit.
“It’s just health awareness (that) I want to bring to the community,” said Addakai, co-owner of Desert Nutrition, who shared with those wanting to learn more about improving their health and nutrition habits. “I wanted to bring health awareness to everyone, especially (to) my Navajo people.”
Meanwhile, the park was filled with twinkling lights and flickering candles, firepits, and Christmas trees decorated by businesses in town.
Dr. Victoria Yazzie walked around and took cellphone portraits of the ones that stood out and illuminated the tree. She said her favorite was the snowman tree decorated by the finance department.
“This is amazing for families and for those who don’t get to see their families and friends (often),” said Dustin Yazzie, who experienced the Christmas festivities here for the first time. “People are drinking hot beverages and they’re bundled up.”