Castle Valley Comments: Dec. 19, 2019

castle valley comments dec. 19 19
Ron Drake

I’ve heard nothing but praise a day after the 50th annual DayStar Adventist Academy Christmas program. The evening began with a delicious supper featuring a homemade variety of soups and salads with breads, crackers and desserts. All of the ingredients for the dishes were grown on the Castle Valley Farm, which is also part of the school and prepared with loving hands by the DayStar staff.

The musical program included the choir, which is made up of 18 members of the student body with 14 of whom also formed the orchestra and others making up the bell choir.

The concert order included “Emmanuel,” “Silent Night,” “While Shepherds Watched,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “Tiny King,” “Angels from the Realms of Glory,” “Christmas Concerto,” “O Holy Night,” “Pastoral Christmas,” “Mary, Did You Know,” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”

The young talented music director at the school is Robby Stone, who organized the musical program and also played the piano, cello and directed the choir. He was once a student at the school.

One of the many comments about the program came from Diane Ackerman, who said, “What a wonderful evening! Someone said we have begun our holiday celebration when we attend the Adventist Christmas program. Did I mention food? Second-to-none … and let’s hear it for those bells!”


The annual Christmas dinner, which is sponsored by the Castle Valley Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and held last Tuesday, Dec. 10, also drew a large crowd. Estimates are that 72 people attended the dinner, which included the traditional Christmas fare of ham, turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy and a variety of salads, side dishes and desserts. Everything was furnished by the church except the side dishes and desserts.

Santa Claus made his usual appearance and had gifts for the 21 children who were there and he also led them in singing Christmas songs. Everyone seemed to enjoy the evening.


The Castle Valley community entered a float in the annual Moab Electric Light Parade for the first time this year. The float followed the Christmas theme and entitled the float “Gourd Tidings of Joy from Castle Valley. It was a float that was adapted from a float that was in the Castle Valley Gourd Festival last October with adaptations and lights to follow the Christmas theme.

Those who worked on the float or walked in the parade include Pamela Gibson, Tricia Ogilvy, Jan Thiede, Ruth Brown, Sherry Karp, Greg and Susan Halliday, Diane Ackerman, and Donnarae Aiello.

I had the pleasure of driving the fire department Hummer that pulled the float in the parade but the real excitement was the journey down Highway 128 to Moab from Castle Valley. The objective was to get the float to the parade starting point in Moab without losing the contents, so as a result we left early. We made several stops along the way to tie things down and still made it in time to be first in line and receive the No. 1 spot in the parade. Lights and other accessories were added after our arrival in Moab.


But we’re not quite finished with Christmas activities just yet. For many years, Cris Coffey has held an annual Christmas Eve brunch at her home and invited everyone who wanted to attend. But this year Cris is residing at the Canyonlands Care Center in Moab and obviously won’t be able to host the annual event.

Leta Vaughn informs us that the annual event is still happening but just a little differently. She said, “We have booked the town building for the event. The brunch will be between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Please bring a breakfasty potluck dish to share. We will have coffee and hot water. Cris has said she will come but she reserves the right to change her mind. She may be doing the Christmas poem but we have it on video and we will play it on the big screen if she changes her mind about that.”

Everyone is invited to attend. They would like to decorate the hall and could use some decorations if you have extra. Call Leta if you can help.