Coal Cracker Christmas
New play to highlight holiday event in Shen
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.downtownshenandoah.com 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.