Village Christmas returned to Watkins Glen for its 28th celebration on Friday evening.  

The event was canceled last year due to Covid-19. 

People flooded North Franklin Street to celebrate. Vendors, police officers, and citizens talked about why Christmas Village is important to the community. 

Owner of Talia’s Boutique Trista Besecker was selling her jewelry at a booth during the event. Besecker thought Village Christmas was a great way for people to come together during the holiday season.  

“It's important, especially with us coming out of the keep people's spirits up,” she said. “It's providing hope for people that eventually, maybe, we'll be able to get back to some sort of normal.” 

Police officer Aaron Jumper talked about why the Watkins Glen Police Department came out to the event. 

“We’re giving away free hot chocolate, goodie bags for the kids and candy canes as well -- trying to spread holiday cheer,” he said. “It's important because we're trying to show everybody that not all cops are bad cops.” 

Alongside food vendors on North Franklin Street, competitions also took place. Real estate broker Stacey Parrish has been holding chili and gingerbread competitions for a few years. 

“We've been doing our chili contest for probably six years now, which we've been doing out front, and that's been popular,” she said. “We just like to do events that involve the children in the community so we decided to open it up to the gingerbread contest.” 

It's a free and open contest for children ages five to seventeen-year-olds. Parrish has been holding the gingerbread contest for two years now. 

“It's just whatever they like to do,” he said. “It encourages kids to be creative and it gets kids out and doing stuff while getting into the Christmas spirit.”