Butler County Times Gazette
  • Creating new Christmas traditions

  • Fulton Farms, Cardinal Creek offer family fun
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  • Families can begin making some new Christmas traditions this year with the addition of two holiday experiences in Butler County.
    Fulton Valley Farms opened a new country Christmas.
    Betty and Dave Corbin, who own the farm located near Towanda, made it into a Christmas wonderland this year.
    The idea originated with David Hill, with Superior Home Services. Hill had approached Betty with the thought of putting together a live nativity.
    She resisted for quite a while.
    “I thought it would be too big of job,” Betty said.
    Then one morning she said she woke up and said, “Yes, Lord, I get it,” and they formed the partnership to put it together.
    But she knew she would need more than just a nativity to get people out there, so they decided to put up Christmas lights.
    Although Betty said they intended to start small, the farm boasts 1 million Christmas lights, lining the silo, windmill, old tractor, roof and many, many trees in a lighted forest which people can walk through.
    This creates a unique scene. The closest silo decorated with flashing lights is in Sweden and that one was just solid. It did not flash to the music light the lights there do.
    Betty decided to do this in February, and Hill began putting up lights in May.
    “We want to be the new Christmas tradition for families in the area,” Betty said, “and to be a draw for the region. We want to touch everyone who comes.”
    In addition to the lights, there also is hot chocolate, cider, s’mores, Santa, handmade crafts, concessions, a Children’s corner and more.
    She said she looks forward to hearing the oohs and aahs of the kids.
    “We really did want it to be magical,” she said.
    It also was a challenge getting all of the lights up.
    “For me it was a way to test the human strength of a brain,” Hill said. “For me, it’s a gift back to the community.”
    “It is a give back for us,” Betty agreed. “We are truly blessed here.”
    Their grandchildren make seven generations of their family that have been on that land, which was homesteaded in the 1860s.
    Betty already is making plans for next year, saying they have put down a deposit on three live reindeer. They plan to have a name the reindeer contest where people can submit names.
    Prior to heading out for an evening of looking at the Christmas lights, families also can spend a day at the Cardinal Creek Farm, located near Leon.
    Page 2 of 2 - The farm, owned by Brenda and Dennis Yarnall, opened just a year ago, with them continually adding something new.
    This season the new addition is a Cardinal Creek Christmas.
    They want to offer an old tradition from which people can make new memories.
    “It was always part of the plan,” Brenda said of adding the Christmas experience.
    It includes a synthetic ice skating rink, pre-cut Christmas trees, hayrack rides, wreaths and gifts. There also will be a fire people can sit around and stay warm.
    Brenda also said the ice skating rink does have lights around it, so people can skate after dark.
    They already have plans to expand their event next year.
    “We wanted to get started,” Brenda said. “We want to have more activities.”
    In the future, they will have their own live Christmas trees, which are currently growing, as well as a larger building for activities.
    “There are a lot of other kids activities we want to add,” she said.
    They will be holding their grand opening from 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday. This season’s hours will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. They are located at 396 SW 110th. For more information, call 316-323-4609 or visit www.cardinalcreekfarm.org.
    Fulton Valley Farms, located at 5079 SW Fulton Rd., will open on Friday. Their hours will be 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday through Dec. 29. For more information, call 3161-775-1894 or visit www.fvfcountrychristmas.com.
    Julie Clements can be reached at jclements@butlercountytimesgazette.com.
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