Coal Cracker Christ­mas

New play to high­light hol­i­day event in Shen

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - BY DANIEL P. PROSICK Con­tact the writer: [email protected]­pub­li­can­her­

Swap­ping fa­mil­iar for unique, a north­ern Schuylkill County com­mu­nity re­vi­tal­iza­tion group will be spon­sor­ing a new, orig­i­nal play fo­cus­ing on the ori­gin of re­ceiv­ing a lit­tle black lump for Christ­mas this Black Fri­day in the kiel­basa cap­i­tal of Penn­syl­va­nia.

For the 13th year in a row, Down­town Shenan­doah Inc. will be spon­sor­ing A Coal Cracker Christ­mas to be held this evening through­out the 100 block of North Main Street in Shenan­doah. The event is open to the pub­lic and fea­tures myr­iad ac­tiv­i­ties for all ages.

De­vi­at­ing from the norm this year, in­stead of per­form­ing adap­ta­tions and ex­cerpts of pop­u­lar Christ­mas plays, a cast fea­tur­ing Shenan­doah Val­ley High School play­ers and oth­ers will put on an orig­i­nal show ti­tled “You’re Gonna Get Coal for Christ­mas.” Writ­ten by for­mer Shenan­doah Val­ley teacher and drama di­rec­tor Dane Rooney — who adapted “The Grinch Who Stole Christ­mas” — the play cen­ters around a 10-year-old girl, who, as most chil­dren do, fears end­ing up on Santa’s naughty list.

Rooney ties in Shenan­doah’s de­vel­op­ing Latino com­mu­nity with the area’s his­tory with coal, and specif­i­cally why coal is given to those on Santa’s naughty list at Christ­mas­time, and the lit­tle girl en­deav­ors to trek to the North Pole to speak to Santa about be­ing on the wrong side of the list. The play will be per­formed at 5 p.m. at the Amer­i­can Le­gion Memo­rial Gar­den.

Fol­low­ing the play, the light­ing of the Christ­mas tree will be held in the gar­den. Horse-drawn trol­ley rides will be­gin at the DSI of­fice at the Amer­i­can Le­gion An­thony P. Dam­ato “Medal of Honor” Post 792. Rides are free and will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Free cook­ies and hot choco­late will be served in the post.

Un­til 2003, The Greater Shenan­doah Area His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety held the event, which it cre­ated. Af­ter skip­ping a year, DSI picked up the act in 2005 and has held it ever since, ac­cord­ing to the ar­chives.

For more in­for­ma­tion about Coal Cracker Christ­mas, visit Down­town Shenan­doah Inc.’s web­site at www.down­town­shenan­ or call 570-462-2060.


The Cat in the Hat, por­trayed by Ri­ley Guers, reads the Dr. Seuss book “How the Grinch Stole Christ­mas” dur­ing last year’s Coal Cracker Christ­mas in Shenan­doah. This year’s event will be held 5 to 8 p.m. to­day in down­town Shenan­doah.

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