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Event brings Christmas cheer to Marysville's Circle Park
Gabriela Portillo wanted to give Marysville a Christmas present.
"Christmas is a time of year that everybody all over the world celebrates," the 17-year-old Marysville High School student explained.
Portillo and five of her friends worked on the first-ever "Christmas in the Park" for two months before it all came together on a crisp Saturday night at Circle Park in East Marysville. With the help of the Allyn Scott Youth and Community Center, Portillo and her friends in the school's leadership program kicked off the inaugural event.
"Christmas just gives you a warm feeling," the high school senior explained.
The youth-organized event offered carnival-style games like ring, disc and beanbag tosses. There was a Christmas tree-decorating competition and a face-painting booth.
Kids like 10-year-old Morgan Diamond built, painted and glued what Portillo referred to as "hardcore crafts."
There were hardcore Christmas tree and Christmas star ornaments to paint, Christmas cards to build and "sand gingerbread men" to glue. (The glittery, gluey paper decorations were best used as bookmarks, Morgan said.)
Kaitie Patterson helped Morgan build her red angel Christmas card with the assistance of Rayna Burr and Victoria Zambrano.
"It's just fun to see kids smile," the 15-year-old Burr explained.
Morgan, of Marysville, particularly enjoyed ornament making.
"I'm getting a tree tomorrow and I'm putting it on," she explained.
Amber Eason also helped put the event together and even took the small stage Saturday night to sing a few songs with her acoustic guitar.
"My dad taught me to play a little when I was 10, and from there it was all self-taught," Eason said. "I don't know any Christmas songs, except ... a Justin Bieber song."
Music teacher Zenobia Brown said she hopes the event continues next year and that other schools are included.
"Just this neighborhood alone could fill this place up," Brown said. "I think it's wonderful. I hope this year's juniors pick it up and it becomes a tradition."
CONTACT Rob Parsons at email@example.com or 749-4785. Find him on Facebook at /ADcrimebeat or on Twitter at @ADcrimebeat.