Sharing seasonal smiles

Bangor holds Christmas in the Village 


When Shelly Miller died Dec. 1, 2018, at 52, she left behind a legacy of holiday happiness and hope. 

Miller, who made history as Bangor’s first village administrator in 2013, had a vision of turning a small Bangor park into a Christmas Wonderland for community members. 

About a dozen of her friends, including Stacy Tenner, organized the group Shell Bells to do just that. 

Sunday night the Village of Bangor celebrated their third annual Christmas in the Village with Santa Claus visits, free hot chocolate and cookies, a small bonfire and a horse-drawn wagon ride, highlighted by the lighting of holiday decorations and a very special tree. “It was always her dream,” Tenner said. “We do this in memory of her.” 

Laura Pfaff, another volunteer, helped pass out cookies at the event. She said they had a great turnout for the first year event, but last year was different due to COVID restrictions. 

“We had a drive-through (visit with Santa) last year,” Pfaff said. 

The event is sponsored entirely by community donations, most of which are collected during their July pork chop sandwich sale. A donation bucket was also set up by the cookies on Sunday.

The long line of children waiting to visit with Santa brought joy to the volunteers. “This is what it’s all about, when you see their faces,” Tenner said. 

Two trees were lit up Sunday, including a tall cut tree and one permanently planted in Miller’s memory.

Tenner said the event, which drew well over 100 people Sunday evening, is advertised on social media and through word-of-mouth. 

Bangor children will have another opportunity to visit Santa this Saturday from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at John Bosshard Memorial Library.


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