The aroma of cranberry nut bread and hot spiced cider filled the air of the country gift shop as visitors to The Country Peddler filled the crowded 1870’s general store. Sandy Swords, the proprietor, was hosting her first Christmastime in Loganville open house for her new business. Her friends, Greg and Martha Lau, owners of Country Spun Sheep Farm, came to visit that day. They were surprised at the number of guests who had come to shop, to enjoy the refreshments, and to tour the first floor of the restored 1800’s house. The event lasted 2 days, that first year in 1985, and hundreds of people attended. It was a huge success!
During that same holiday season the John & Sandy Swords and Greg & Martha Lau, attended a community holiday event held in Marietta, Pennsylvania. The whole town was filled with visitors enjoying the holiday mood of the small town. Shops and restaurants were bustling and the whole town was decorated for the event.
At dinner that evening, the Laus and the Swords discussed the possibilities of “Why not in Loganville? Why not build on the holiday open house that Sandy had just established?”
The two business owners decided to organize a holiday event for their small town of Loganville. They invited Stan & Nona Brown of Brown’s Orchards to participate and they quickly and graciously accepted the invitation. Sandy & Martha thought that it would be nice to have lunch available to the visitors and asked the Loganville Fire Co. Ladies Auxiliary to join them. Beulah Ness and the Ladies Auxiliary happily agreed to provide delicious homemade soups, sandwiches and pies.
The event was a huge success, despite some skepticism from townspeople who wandered who would come to the sleepy little town of Loganville. Businesses were filled with shoppers and it was standing room only at the Fire Hall. Word quickly spread among the local churches and businesses of their success! Soon they were inquiring as to how they too, could become a participant.
During the early years, “Christmastime in Loganville” was featured on PM Magazine, a new show on WGAL Channel 8, featuring Doug Allen who was just beginning his career with Channel 8. It was a show that featured interesting people, events and locations of the Susquehanna Valley. Segments of the show were broadcast from The Country Peddler, Country Spun and Brown’s Orchards.
In 1991, Sandy decided to close the Country Peddler, due to the birth of her second son, Michael. Because she wanted to remain involved in the event, she decided to organize the Christmastime in Loganville Craft Show that would be sponsored by the Jacobus Area Lioness Club and would be held at the Loganville-Springfield Elementary School.
Planning, organizing and promoting the growing event became quite a challenge, since the Laus had bought a bed & breakfast in Schellsburg, Pennsylvania and were no longer in the area. So, Sandy sought the support of the Jacobus Area Lioness Club and the club agreed to take over managing the event.
Celebrating its 36th year, Christmastime in Loganville has grown to include up to 20 different churches, businesses, and organizations from the neighboring communities of Jacobus, Seven Valleys and Springfield Township. Thousands of visitors come every year to visit the communities in southern York County and enjoy the warm hospitality in preparation for the upcoming holiday season.
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