Checking in on Our Elves! – by Sue Jurjevic

top of a lit Christmas tree

top of a lit Christmas treeEarlier this month, I took a moment to talk with our number one elf, aka Kaitlyn Collier, our Special events Assistant. I wanted to get her perspective and insight on what goes on behind the scenes while planning all our holiday events. Without her hard work and many others’, our events would not be possible! It takes time and commitment to make our events fun and festive.

How early do you start planning for the holiday events?

“We typically start planning and selecting dates in the summer. We start purchasing the materials, games, and everything else needed prior to Halloween. Multitasking has become second nature when planning so many events at once!”

What do you take into consideration when planning and preparing for events?

“This holiday season, I wanted to make every event magical, inviting, and festive for everyone. The activities we have planned this season are sure to get everyone in the holiday spirit!”

Our Tree Lighting event was this past weekend. How did you prepare for that?

“It took about six days and over 53 strands of lights to make sure our tree was ready! We also had a number of inflatables for children. Thankfully, I got help from our Public Works Department and our Maintenance Supervisor, Cody Starr, to make sure everything was safe and ready for all of our guests.”

With handling all of these events, how do you maintain your own holiday cheer outside of work?

“Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year because it’s easy to be jolly all the time! Things like getting matching Christmas pajamas with my dog, spending holiday fun and festivities with friends, attending Winterfest at Kings Dominion with family, and volunteering at church and the animal rescue make the holidays amazing.”

We’re always excited and happy to make sure our community has a festive and fun-filled holiday season. If you’ve joined us for our holiday events in the past weeks, we would love to see you again at the upcoming Breakfast with Santa and Light Parade!

Sue Jurjevic is the Senior Recreation Specialist for the City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation. She can be reached at 703-335-8872 or via email at

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