This is the way Charleston Falls Preserve looked about 8:30 AM. That's frost on the ground.
By the time we returned to the parking lot the frost was gone and across the prairie I could see the tents set up for the Christmas Open House. The Open House has been occurring for as long as I have been associated with the parks. It's always the first Saturday in December. You can see a corner of the overflow parking lot in the lower right hand corner.
The day was a wonderful Christmas gift to everyone. The temperatures rose into the fifties (Fahrenheit) by afternoon and by evening were still in the upper forties.
Tom and I arrived shortly before 6 PM. The festivities were scheduled from 6 to 9. Portable lights were set up around the parking lots. Already, thee overflow parking lot was filled, except for one spot close to the main lot. We took that one. Sheriff's deputies, park staff and volunteers guided the visitors to parking.
The trail to the falls was lit by luminaries. Tom used time lapse photography to take the following pictures.
John is playing Christmas carols. Across from him, one of the visitors sits, enjoying the music and the evening.
Santa Claus was at a three-sided shelter at the first bench inside the woods. Tom didn't get a picture of that. It would have been a long, long line of small children and parents waiting to talk to Santa.
We followed the trail across the prairie to the tents set up beside the Education Office.
There were cookies and hot chocolate...
Christmas cards to decorate...
And, for those who were brave, a chance to sing Christmas carols to music played by request to a keyboard artist.