Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

November 15, 2012

Christmas returns to the orchard

Bart Doan

DANVILLE — From Santa Claus to scenic hayrides, the holiday season has descended upon Hendricks County, and no where is it more evident than at Beasley’s Orchard, where they’re holding their annual Christmas at the Orchard event this weekend.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with Santa making an appearance from noon to 4 p.m.

“It’s all about the kids,” said Debbie Beasley, orchard owner. “Santa comes here, and that’s probably the most fun thing for me to watch is the children as they sit down on Santa’s knee. It’s a Kodak moment.”

Another holiday treat is one that’s not likely to be found anywhere else in the county: an antique sleigh that’s more than 200 years old decorating the orchard.

“Believe it or not, I was actually driving through Danville one day and a lady had it out in her yard with a ‘For Sale’ sign on it,” Beasley said. “It was made by her husband’s grandfather. It’s a really neat sleigh. It’s very old and it’s still stable. I don’t know if a horse could still pull it or not, but we have the pieces that hooked from the sleigh to the horse hanging up high.”

There are some additions to this year’s Christmas at the Orchard as well. For the first time, festive wagon rides are being offered.

“It’s similar to a hay ride, but it won’t go out to the pumpkin patch,” Beasley said. “It’ll go out around the orchard.”

She said blankets will be provided and patrons are also welcome to bring their own.

In addition, there will be Christmas tunes filling the air throughout the day from Butler University’s Freshly Brewed A Capella choral group, followed by Sharon O’Connell and her hammered dulcimer.

“We’ll (also) be serving hot spiced cider, with a spice made especially for us,” Beasley said.

She added that representatives of Buck Creek Winery will be providing samples in the vendor area for adults.

“We have lots of kids’ activities as well,” she said. “There will be face painting, they can decorate holiday sugar cookies, and then we’ll have a bounce house outside.”

“We’ve got quite a few vendors as well, selling anything from fudge to toys, things that are great for people who are already Christmas shopping,” she said.

Beasley’s Orchard is at 2304 E. Main St., Danville. For more information, call 745-7846 or visit the website at beasleys-orchard.com.