Frisco’s weeklong Wassail Days celebration starts Saturday
Ryan Summerlin December 6, 2012
Once upon a time, before text messages, emails and even holiday photo postcards, townsfolk wished each other good cheer heading into the winter season with a little wassailing. The generations-old tradition has a few incarnations: door-to-door holiday caroling wishing good health and fortune and, in some parts of England, celebrations in hopes of a hearty apple harvest. While nowadays we have the technology to be a little lazy with our well wishing, the Town of Frisco’s weeklong Wassail Days festivities are meant to get folks off the couch and into the holiday mood. Saturday’s kickoff, the Santa Dash, invites those dressed in their best Santa Claus gear to run six blocks for the possibility of snagging a stocking full of cash at the finish line. Every participant wins cash – anywhere from $1 to $100 (you don’t have to be the fastest, either) – and for those who get a little winded, a milk and cookie aid station should bring the oomph back. New this year (and definitely not done in the days of yore), the town will be using the race and its warm-up to help tape what should be a hilarious mash-up of the holiday classic “Here Comes Santa Claus” with rapper Psy’s internet sensation “Gangnam Style.” You read that right – the hope is to get more than 100 Santas doing that funny little horse-trot dance in the street, all on tape. Hilarity aside, the race will give some participants extra cash to stroll along Frisco’s Main Street and shop for holiday presents not found in the typical mall, said Suzanne Lifgren, the town’s marketing director. Part of the charm of shopping in town is the ability to chat and make friends with small business owners, she said. Throughout the week, those merchants will also be serving up their own versions of wassail – a warm apple cider – for everyone to vote on. The winning business gets bragging rights, and what Lifgren described as “the Stanley Cup of Wassail.”After the race on Saturday, head down to the Frisco Historic Park Gazebo for the annual tree-lighting ceremony, led by Mayor Gary Wilkinson, before stuffing your face at the Best in the West Chili Contest. Teams can compete as professionals or amateurs, and recipes are split into three categories: red, green and vegetarian.
The folks over at the town have it on good authority that Summit County children will be getting calls from jolly old Saint Nick on Tuesday night. Parents can sign their little ones up to tell Santa what they want for the holidays at four locations: Frisco Visitor Information Center, Stork & Bear Company, Frisco Historic Park & Museum, and Frisco Town Hall. Kids get another chance to chat with Father Christmas Saturday at breakfast and again that afternoon at the museum. On Wednesday, get in the holiday mood with an old-fashioned celebration: Victorian Wassail Night at the Historic Park. The community open house includes carolers, readings of the holiday classic, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” hot chocolate, cookies and, of course, wassail.
It wouldn’t be a proper winter celebration without the fluffy white stuff. The schedule on Thursday includes tubing at Frisco Adventure Park, Nordic skiing and sleigh rides – all free of charge. On Saturday, Dec. 15, kids 9 and under can showcase their moves at the Lil’ Rascals Rail Jam before winter fireworks light up the tubing hill.