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Esbenshade's Garden Center

Lititz, Pennsylvania    Esbenshades.com

Christmas Train Display Photos

View 2007 Photos

View 2006 Photos

View 2005 Photos



Coordinator's Comments

On  6/28/10, Clair D. wrote:

Hi James
First the standard discourse.
As a hobby my wife and I do two or three public displays a year.   This is about our 5th or 6th year.  We will typically do a retirement community, Esbenshades and maybe one other event or another Retirement community.  We prefer to take the display to people who may not or would not be able to enjoy them.  This is a “non-profit” endeavor, as we typically do not charge for doing the displays.
We don’t use an official name or have titles.  We just make it happen,  I do a lot of the train stuff, Elaine does a lot of the communications and keeps me in line.
To be honest it is more my hobby/passion than hers.  However,  her input and support have been a huge asset.
 The bulk of the display material is ours.  From time to time we have “outside”  trains or buildings, so far we have not made it a priority to solicit for lots of outside material.
Our displays are not official displays for any particular club.  We try to line up an appropriate track crew for what we are attempting to do.
They might be members of a club or just friends.
We have done the Esbenshade display 4 of the  past 5 years, and will be there again this year (2010).  The display is built on two 6’ x 27’ tables with a 6’ isle in the middle.  It lends itself well to using bridges, but also somewhat limits what you can do.  So, each year has been somewhat similar but small varients.
I do not do a lot of the building – trestles etc.   Lancaster county has an abundance of craftsmen who do a much better job than I can.
We do not have an permanent layout set up at our house.
I have enclosed a picture of our “high tech” track & design procedure. {in 2006 photo set}
The basic process of our displays works a lot like the club displays.
1.         Contact the place where the  display will be
a.       Establish a contact person
b.      Confirm location at the facility
c.       Establish a date and time

2.       Create posters for them   for  bulletin boards ,  elevators etc.
Get information to them for their newsletters etc.
Any assistance we can give with their internal PR.

3.       Follow up as needed.

4.       Set up the display
a.       Establish a track plan
b.      Rough idea of building placement

5.       At this point the trains just need to run.
We make a point to interact with as many guests as possible.
We usually have a scavenger hunt for the attendees if they are interested.

6.       Teardown
Because our son got married this spring, 2010 has been a slow year for trains.
In October we will be going to Luther Acres, a retirement community.
November we will be at Esbenshades the week of thanksgiving.
December may take us to the Lititz public library.
January – March 2011, forget that trains exist (we will have had our fix)

This page created June 2010, modified 7/7/2010 by  . .James R. Ingram        ..