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The Eaton Calendar – November 19

The Eaton Calendar – November 19

The Eaton Calendar - Update


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - November 19, 2019

  1. NEW – Department 56 Dickens Village is on Display in the Front Window at the Deane Center; Donor to be in Wellsboro This Friday and Saturday, Nov. 22 & 23
  2. NEW – Sign Up Now to be Dickens Fezziwig Street Player on Saturday, Dec. 7
  3. NEW – Wellsboro Rotary Club Rifle Raffle Tickets to be Sold at Bear Check Station in Wellsboro Nov. 23-27
  4. NEW – Last Running Deer Shoot for 2019 is This Sunday, Nov. 24
  5. NEW – Trinity Lutheran Church Dickens of a Dinner is on Friday, Dec. 6
  6. NEW – Fourth Annual Dickens Best Dressed Showcase is Saturday, Dec. 7
  7. NEW – Hamilton-Gibson’s “A Christmas Carol” with two different casts presenting three shows each on Saturday, Dec. 7 and one cast presenting the final show on Sunday, Dec. 8
  8. NEW – Patsy Cline Sings Holiday Favorites Featuring Penny Eckman Wednesday, Dec. 11
  9. NEW – Burns Supper Tickets on Sale Now

Diane Eaton
(570) 724-3800


On display in the front windows of the Deane Center for the Performing Arts at 104 Main Street in Wellsboro are Department 56 Dickens’ Village buildings and accessories collected by Jean Balko, now of Oil City, Pa. Balko gave her collection to the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce in August of 2018. The buildings light up at night.

“My first thought when I saw the Dickens’ Village pieces in the 1980s was ‘Wow, they are neat.’ They made me feel like a little girl again,” said Balko. First introduced in 1984, the Dickens’ Village collection depicts the places and people that readers of works by Victorian era author Charles Dickens’ visualize.

Between the late 1980s when she started and the early 2000s when she stopped, Balko collected 76 buildings plus numerous figurines, lampposts, fences, trees carriages, and other accessories.

After deciding to move from Virginia Beach to Oil City in 2018, her first priority was to find a home for her Dickens’ Village. “I love that village and wanted to know where it was going to be,” Balko said.

Martha, Balko’s daughter who lives in Colorado, went online and found out that Wellsboro holds a Dickens of a Christmas event each year. Martha contacted Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Julie VanNess who said yes to Balko’s offer to give the village to the chamber. “I am so happy that my village has a home,” she said,

Because Balko had just moved to Oil City in November of 2018, she was not able to come to Wellsboro last year to see her village on display for the first time in the Deane Center’s front windows. “Jean will be in Wellsboro this Friday and Saturday, Nov. 22 and 23 and will see it then,” said VanNess.

“I promised Jean this collection will remain intact,” VanNess said. “She wanted to see it stay together so people could enjoy it as much as she has.”

Since last year, four houses and an animated skating pond have been added through the Wellsboro Foundation.

The Dickens’ Village will remain on display in the Deane Center windows until New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 2020.

Photo by John Eaton
Among the Department 56 Dickens’ Village buildings on display in the front windows at the Deane Center now through New Year’s Day is “The Cottage of Bob Cratchit & Tiny Tim” (shown), characters created by Charles Dickens and included in his book “A Christmas Carol”.

Photo provided
Jean Balko


Hamilton-Gibson invites fourth graders to adults to join the Dickens Fezziwig Street Players.

During Wellsboro’s Dickens of a Christmas on Saturday, Dec. 7, the Fezziwig Street Players will perform up and down Main Street between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. with ample time for breaks. Singers and non-singers, dancers, actors, jugglers and musicians are welcome to join in.

All street players will greet visitors to Dickens festivities. Short skits, puppets, songs, dances and participation in two Victorian Strolls are all part of the Saturday fun.

To participate as a street performer or for more information, call Thomas Putnam at (570) 724-2079 or email now.

Photo by John Eaton
Fezziwig Street Players will create patterns with red and white ribbons as they dance around the Yule pole outdoors on Main Street during this year’s Dickens of A Christmas in Wellsboro.


The Wellsboro Rotary Club’s annual Rifle Raffle, its primary fundraiser, is underway. The top prize is a Henry Big Boy .357 caliber, followed by a Henry “Golden Boy” .17 caliber, and Henry “Golden Boy” .22 LR. All of the rifles have octagon barrels and brass framing, and retail values of $710, $485 and $440, respectively. The fourth and fifth prizes are American Express gift cards in the amount of $350 and $150, respectively.

Raffle tickets are $10 each, and can be purchased from any member of the club. In addition, the club will have a sales table at the Bear Check Station at the Wellsboro Fireman’s Annex on Route 6 (East Avenue) in Wellsboro this Saturday, Nov. 23, through Wednesday, Nov. 27 and in the lobby of the Deane Center at 104 Main Street on Saturday, Dec. 7, during Wellsboro’s Dickens of a Christmas celebration. Bear Check Station hours are: Nov. 23, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Nov. 24, 10 a.m. to Noon; Nov. 25, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Nov. 26, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Nov. 27, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Jim Tutak, raffle chair, estimates that based on past years’ sales, the chances of winning one of the prizes is 1 in 150. Winners of the rifles must be qualified to own and possess firearms in Pennsylvania and, if applicable, their home state. The drawing will be on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. at Timeless Destination on Main Street, Wellsboro.

The Wellsboro Rotary Club has been serving the people of Wellsboro and the surrounding areas since 1926. In addition to providing financial support to numerous local organizations and causes, the Wellsboro club sponsors high school students to spend a year studying in a foreign country while bringing a foreign student to study in Wellsboro. Members also do road cleanups, award monthly prizes to students of the month, and every December host local foster children for a Christmas party at the Penn Wells Hotel, complete with gifts and a visit from Santa Claus and his wife.

The club meets every Thursday at noon at the Penn Wells, where speakers from local organizations and businesses speak to the members over lunch. Anyone who would like to learn more about the club is welcome to attend. For more information, visit


The Nessmuk Rod and Gun Club is hosting its last running deer shoot for 2019 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. this Sunday, Nov. 24, rain or shine at the club’s outdoor range at 4646 Route 287, 6.5 miles south of Wellsboro in Delmar Township. Members and the public are invited to participate.

The running deer paper target is fixed to a four-foot by three-foot wooden frame that is mounted on wheels on a cable. The target is pulled along the cable from the left to right at 100 yards from the shooting area. Only one shooter is allowed on the range per pass. Safety gear and eye and ear protection are required. 

A sign-up will be held before each round. The fee is $2 per pass with a limit of two shots per pass. The fee will be split with 50 percent going to the shooter with the highest score per round and the other 50 percent to the club.

For more information, call Ray Rowland at (607) 857-4631.


For Dickens of a Christmas, the Trinity Lutheran Church and Trinity Lutheran School, both at 53 West Avenue in Wellsboro, are hosting a Dickens of a Dinner Friday night, Dec. 6. It is open to the public.

Dinner is being served between 4:30 and 7 p.m. at the Trinity Lutheran Church’s Family Life Center, located off West Avenue on Luther Lane behind the church. Included will be ham with raisin sauce, parsley potatoes, cranberry relish, winter vegetables, roll and butter, homemade dessert and beverage. The cost is $13 for adults, $12 for senior citizens over 60, $6 for children ages 5 to 12 and free for children under age 5.

Crafts will be on display and for sale in the church.

For information or tickets, call Trinity Lutheran at (570) 724-7723.


Wellsboro Home Page is sponsoring the Fourth Annual Dickens Best Dressed Showcase being held on Saturday, Dec. 7, during the 36th Annual Dickens of A Christmas celebration in Wellsboro, a three-day event.

Last year’s showcase drew more than 50 participants. Ladies, gentlemen, boys and girls wowed audience members and judges with their unique take on Victorian Era styles. Many others came to take a step back in time by enjoying the presentations or capturing the moment on their camera phones.

Registration for the 2019 showcase will begin at 10 a.m. and end at noon on Saturday, Dec. 7, in the Deane Center lobby at 104 Main Street in Wellsboro. Contestants can enter as individuals, couples, siblings, families and friends.

At 1 p.m. on Dec. 7, those entered in this year’s showcase, dressed in their finest Victorian fashions, will gather at the Deane Center’s outdoor stage and performance area on the corner of Main Street and Central Avenue. In case of inclement weather, the showcase will take place inside the Deane Center.

On stage will be Christine A. Moore, owner of Christine A. Moore Millinery of New York City. She will provide expert commentary and history about the costumes worn by the contestants. The judges will then have the daunting task of selecting ‘The Best Dressed” for Dickens 2019. Blake R. Seidel will serve as master of ceremonies.

Each of the two top winners will receive a handsome gift basket of goods donated by Wellsboro merchants and a custom-made hat from Christine A. Moore Millinery. The first place prize is valued at more than $1,000. Prizes will also be awarded to other participants. Immediately following the announcement of the winners, all contestants will be invited to be in the 2 p.m. Victorian Stroll on Main Street.

To help prepare for this year’s Best Dressed Showcase, watch past Home Page broadcasts for 2016, 2017 and 2018 to get ideas and find out who won. The links are: and and

Although it is not required, those who would like to pre-register can email their names and contact information to Sara Vogt at by Thursday, Dec. 5.

For more information about the Best Dressed Showcase, contact Home Page Network offices by calling (570) 948-9181.

Photo by John Eaton
Pictured are the 2018 Dickens Best Dressed Showcase winners Allison and Stephen Schmidt from Attica, New York. They were married in their outfits on Aug. 27, 2017. Allison tailored her outfit with the exception of her veil, and most of her husband’s outfit with the exception of his coat. This year’s showcase will be on Saturday, Dec. 7.


Hamilton-Gibson Productions and sponsor C&N Bank are offering seven performances of “A Christmas Carol” on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 7 and 8 during Wellsboro’s 36th Annual Dickens of a Christmas celebration.

One of the world’s most enduring holiday stories, “A Christmas Carol” was written by Charles Dickens 176 years ago, It is the tale of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, a coldhearted man who learns the value of love thanks to the intervention of three ghosts who come to haunt him on Christmas Eve. Holiday cheer, whimsical humor and a good dose of scary thrills combine with the timeless truths and themes in this story of a man’s redemption.

On Saturday, Dec. 7, Dickens’ classic ghost tale is being performed by one cast at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. in the Coolidge Theatre in the Deane Center for the Performing Arts at 104 Main Street in Wellsboro and by a second cast at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the Warehouse Theatre at 3 Central Avenue in Wellsboro. At 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8 in the Warehouse Theatre will be the seventh performance of “A Christmas Carol.” Each performance will be just over one hour.

The script for both productions is the same. The Warehouse performances are presented in a traditional proscenium setting. The Coolidge production is set somewhat in the round, with the audience on two sides.

Each cast includes six actors, one who plays Scrooge with the rest portraying a number of different characters. Slight costume changes are made in view of the audience and the action of the haunting tale unfolds seamlessly. Much is left to the individual theatergoer’s imagination because the production celebrates the rich Dickens’ prose with the use of the “story theatre” form. Actors not only play characters, but also serve as narrators using the original Dickens’ language.

This is the fourth year that Bryson Fuhrer of Knoxville is playing Tiny Tim as well as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come and is narrator for the Warehouse Theatre production. He is the son of Jessica and Brandon Fuhrer. Tom Walrath has played Ebenezer Scrooge for more than two decades. Most of the cast members have been in this production for many years, too. They include Sarah Knight as Mrs. Cratchit and the Ghost of Christmas Past, Kristine Worthington as Belle and Mrs. Fezziwig, Brian Kennedy as Jacob Marley, Bob Cratchit and Mr. Fezziwig, and Mitch Kreisler as Fred Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present. Director is Gabe Hakvaag. Music Director is Cherilyn Ayres.

This is the third year that Bodhi Nickerson is playing Tiny Tim and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come and is narrator in the Coolidge Theatre cast. He is the son of Shane and Jill Nickerson of Blossburg. Other cast members include: Rob Kathcart as Ebenezer Scrooge, Coleen Evert as Mrs. Cratchit and the Ghost of Christmas Past and Samantha Coolidge as Scrooge’s sister Fan and his jilted fiancée Belle. New this year are: Ryan Dalton as Bob Cratchit and Marley’s Ghost, and Ryan Mullins as Scrooge’s nephew Fred and the Ghost of Christmas Present. Director and set designer is Thomas Putnam. Parker Neal is piano accompanist.

Admission to a Saturday performance is $12 and to the Sunday performance is Pay-What-You-Can. Tickets can be held up to 15 minutes before the performance. For reservations, call H-G Productions at (570) 724-2079 or email or TicketLeap.

Photo by John Eaton
During a Coolidge Theatre cast rehearsal for “A Christmas Carol”, Bob Cratchit (Ryan Dalton) carries his son, Tiny Tim (Bodhi Nickerson) who is holding his crutch.


WELLSBORO — On Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m., the Deane Center for the Performing Arts and KC101.5 will present Penny Eckman, “The voice of Patsy Cline” in concert at the Coolidge Theatre at 104 Main Street in Wellsboro.

This popular entertainer will sing holiday favorites, such as “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “White Christmas” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. She will also perform Patsy Cline songs such as “Sweet Dreams,” “Crazy” and Walkin’ After Midnight.”

Eckman started singing at an early age. A professional singer with more than 29 years of experience, she has been performing country rock to classic rock from the late 1970s through today. She formed the rock band Shylock Foxx in 1990 and in 2013 created her blues band, Penny and the Shylocks.

“Penny is great in front of an audience and can sing like nobody else in this area,” said Thomas Putnam, Hamilton-Gibson Productions artistic director. “Our relationship with Penny began when she auditioned for the lead role in ‘Always, Patsy Cline,’ an H-G musical production. She won that role over 20 singers. She knew how to dig into Patsy’s style and yet make the songs her own,” said Putnam.

Eckman went on to develop her own one woman show “Penny Sings Patsy” and has since performed Cline’s music at well over 300 concerts in multiple venues up and down the East Coast and into the Midwest.

“We’ve done other musicals with Penny since then,” Putnam said. “She has played Mama Rose in ‘Gypsy,’ Sophie Tucker, the hairdresser in ‘Second Samuel’ and Mame. She’s also performed in our three Leading Ladies concerts, singing the signature songs of many top-notch vocalists. Penny is versatile. People are amazed by the wide range of styles she can handle,” Putnam concluded.

This is a BYOB event. Audience members are welcome to bring beverages and snacks. Seating will be cabaret-style. Tickets are $20. For tickets and to reserve a table, call (570) 724-6220 or visit

Photo provided
Penny Eckman will take the Coolidge Theatre stage at the Deane Center Wednesday, Dec. 11


Escape the winter doldrums at the 9th Annual Robbie Burns Supper and Poetry Slam, featuring fellowship, poetry, whisky and haggis, on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, at 3 p.m. at Timeless Destination, 77 Main Street in Wellsboro.

“Be prepared to laugh, too” said Jim Tutak, one of the principal perpetrators of the event, which is open to the public.

After a half hour of socializing, the “meeting” will be called to order. Everyone will take a nip of the nectar – single-malt whisky – from a silver cup called a Quaich, and introduce him or herself. A cash bar will be available.

The haggis is piped in, followed by a recital of Burns’ “Ode to a Haggis” before the meal. Traditionally, during the supper each attendee can choose to read a favorite, funny, short poem or story. Connoisseurs claim this honors Scottish traditions. Skeptics insist it is done to take one’s mind off the meal. Regardless, it is an essential part of the event. The supper closes with a lusty singing of “Scotland the Brave” and a more somber rendition of “Auld Lang Syne.”

The menu includes haggis, neeps and tatties (turnips and potatoes), plus appetizer, salad, dessert, coffee tea and soft drinks. Dessert is Typsy Laird, a Scottish trifle made with sponge cake, brandy, egg custard, raspberries, banana and double cream.

Burns Suppers started in Scotland to commemorate the July 21, 1796, death of Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet. Over the years the date moved to the Sunday nearest Burns’ birth date, Jan. 25, 1759, probably because whisky works better in January than in July. Suppers take place worldwide on that date, from the modest event in Wellsboro to Toddish McWong’s Gung Haggis Fat Choy supper in Vancouver, British Columbia, simultaneously celebrating Robbie Burns and the Chinese New Year, with more than 400 people attending.

Seating is limited to 30 at Wellsboro. The cost is $40 and reservations are required. Contact Jim Tutak at (570) 723-5049 or at to make reservations or for more information. Any proceeds will be donated to the Wellsboro Area Food Pantry.

Photo provided
The Haggis is presented to bagpiper music.

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