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Elf Without Jingles

2017 likely to be final year for Christmas in Salem Crossroads

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2017 likely to be final year for Christmas at Salem Crossroads

by Patrick Varine, The Pittsburgh Tribune through TribLive.com | Posted: 04-16-2017, 11 PM EST


SALEM, PENNSYLVANIA --- This year marks the 45th anniversary of the annual Christmas in Salem Crossroads pilgrimage. It also marks what will likely be the event's final year, says board secretary Bryan Kardell.

"I don't wanna see it end," said Kardell, a Salem resident who started out as a member of the crew that ran all the lights and audio for the annual pilgrimage, held at Delmont. "But without the support of townsfolk and local volunteers, maybe it has to end."

Each year, the Shields Farm was transformed as local actors staged live vignettes of the prophecy of Mary and Joseph's journey into Bethlehem, along with the Three Wise Men and other elements from the Christmas Story.

In all, the event takes around 70 volunteers to run properly and smoothly, said Kardell.

"We've been getting around 50, which is why we've had to make a few cuts every year," he explained. "Only last year, we had an entire scene we couldn't use because we didn't have the volunteers we needed to be a part of it."


"We've cut expenses by some 20% because we were going into the red," Kardell continued. "We have a lot of the money from last year. If we make all the repairs necessary to keep it all going, we'll be broke again. So, unless we have a successful year, then there's just nothing left."

This year's 45th Anniversary Pilgrimage will be held December 1st, 2nd and 3rd. For more information, visit http://www.christmasinsalemcrossroads.org .


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