Jingle All The Way

Every December, children all around the world get excited about the most wonderful time of the year: Christmas. Interact is one of the many programs in Ipswich that helps spread the  Christmas cheer. The Ipswich Interact Club has organized the Jingle Bell Walk at the town wharf for many years now and this event brings the whole community of Ipswich together.

At the event, all the kids gather near the town wharf with Santa’s elves and await the arrival of Santa Clause. Christmas carols, hot chocolate, bells, Buddy the Elf, and The Grinch fill up the morning. Santa, escorted by the police on the boat, come around 10:30 in the morning. They then join the town full of eager people waiting to see him. Children jump up and down with the biggest smiles on their faces; adults wave to the jolly man himself, and the elves are so happy to see how the whole town comes together to celebrate this holiday.

Once Santa gets off the boat, he is automatically rushed with hugs from all sides; everyone can’t get enough of him. The parade of people then walk down the street, behind Santa’s red car leading the way, all the way to the Town Hall. The doors are unopened, further building the excitement to get in. Lines of hundreds are waiting for there chance to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they want for Christmas. Santa’s helpers are running fun games for all along with crafts, face paint, and delicious food being served. The Town Hall is decorated like the North Pole and the Christmas music playing adds to the amazing day. Children run around with their candy canes and bag from Santa, and nothing can stop them from feeling great. Families are taking photos and everyone is socializing. For the past two years, the club has decided to donate all the profits to Talia Duff, a middle schooler at Ipswich who is battling a rare disease of CMT4J, and when she comes in to see Santa, it makes the day even more magical.

To get all of this together, there is a lot of planning. Ava Warren, president of Ipswich’s Interact Club, knows just how much works it takes to pull all of this together. Months are used to do all the planning to make sure everything runs smoothly. Everyone in the club has to do their best to help out. All the work becomes worth it once you see the smiles on all of the kids’ faces. Ava stated, “When it gets hard I think of when I was a kid and how much I looked forward to this day.” Since Ipswich is such a small community, the things we did when we were younger are still around today; It’s the little things like this that make this whole event worthwhile.

Along with this, Keith Harris, head of Ipswich’s Interact club is also one who does a lot of planning for this event and makes sure it all runs smoothly. Keith says, “I am lenient with the kids and I let them do most of this on their own. It takes a lot of preparation and work to plan this day but I know that they can all do it and I am just here to guide them along the way.” The preparation is vigorous, but at the event, the excitement that fills the town hall makes it memorable for everyone.

Lauren Kennedy