DANVILLE — It certainly didn’t feel like Christmas this past weekend, with unseasonably warm temperatures, but the feelings of the holiday season were evident throughout Beasley’s Orchard during its annual Christmas at the Orchard event.
Debbie Beasley, owner of the orchard, said there is nothing quite like the holiday season, and that her favorite part of the event is how it lights up children’s faces.
“It’s all about the kids,” she said. “Santa came, 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. Throughout the day, patrons of the Christmas at the Orchard lined up next to the giant Christmas tree and took photos with the sleigh.
“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.
“The body of it’s fairly heavy. It takes a couple of guys to lift it. It comes apart where the seat is, lifts off where the runners are, and sits down in a groove.”
One of the new caveats this year meshed a popular favorite from a different holiday. Beasley said that with the popularity of the pumpkin patch hay rides, they chose to offer a winter scenic ride that wound around the orchard, offering a glimpse of areas that aren’t normally seen.