Holidays Are Better Here: Hamilton & Angola (VIDEO)

By Emma Koch - 21Alive

December 6, 2013 Updated Dec 6, 2013 at 10:33 AM EST

INDIANA (21Alive) -- As we kick off our season-long look at how some of our local hometowns celebrate the holidays, Jason joins us from Angola and Eric joins us for the Holidays Are Better Here.

Hamilton:
Just watching folks get ready for it, you know you're in for something special. They ushered in the Christmas season in style up in Hamilton last Saturday night with the town's Old Time Christmas Parade with 40 teams of draft horses pulling wagons down the center of town dripping with Christmas lights.

The wagons are getting prettier every year because everybody's that's been in it for several years keeps trying to outdo everybody else,” Paul said.

Thousands of folks from three states showed up for the parade, a perfect blend of the spirit of Christmas past and present.

“Love the horses and all the lights and all the people. Kids seem to be having a good time too. Yes very much so,” Cathy Underwood said.

We don't know what you were doing last Saturday night but you probably weren't having as much fun as folks at the Hamilton Old Time Christmas Parade, one of the reasons the crowd get bigger at this event year after year.

Angola:
For most families, the holidays are about slowing down and spending some time with one another. But for some families, they have a need for speed.

They say the holidays fly by before you know it. And some brave souls choose to move right along with them.

"Toboggan run is one of our real historical icons here at Pokagon State Park,” Fred Wooley said. “It actually got its start during the civilian conservation corps time in the early 1930's."

Since then, another track's been added, it's been modified with a refrigerated track, and grown in length and height. Every year, the toboggan run at Pokagon State Park opens right after Thanksgiving, attracting families from all over for a little holiday fun.

One of those families belongs to 89-year-old Rosella Corll.

"Seventeen years ago, my husband and I started this tradition,” Rosella said. “We came up here. We love Pokagon. And we used to date up here at Pokagon. And we started bringing the young people up here. Of course, they're all older people now, y'know."

Every year, the weekend after thanksgiving, their whole family gathers here for a day of sledding. A fully packed sled can scream down the track at nearly 35 miles an hour. And this is one grandma who's not afraid of a little speed.

"And I love to get on with my big son-in-laws. They're not around to hear me say that, because the more weight you get, the faster you go," Rosella said.

With that in mind, get your friends and family members, no matter their age, on a toboggan at Pokagon State Park. It may not slow the holiday season down, but you'll at least be spending it with people you love and that makes the holidays a little better here.




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