NEW PHILADELPHIA -- Storybook Lane has been a Christmas tradition in New Philadelphia for more than half a century. The Mother Goose characters include brightly painted figures and scenes depicting classic nursery rhymes such as "Mary Had A Little Lamb," "Humpty Dumpty," and many others. The lighted display will be open nightly in Tuscora Park starting in December.

Storybook Lane was adopted by the New Philadelphia Rotary Club in 2003 when club members completely renovated the 24 Mother Goose characters that were nearly 50 years old at the time. Rick Pipes, New Philadelphia Rotary Club president, said sponsor donations at the time helped to pay the costs of repairs and repainting of the characters, replacement of moving parts, and maintenance of the lighting system.

Several of the 24 nursery rhyme characters that make up Storybook Lane are in need of new sponsors.

Pipes says letters were mailed in October to previous donors to offer them the first chance to renew their sponsorship. Storybook Lane character boards that have not been renewed are now open for new sponsors. A board with a single exclusive sponsor is $300 while a co-sponsored board is $150. The sponsorship is for a period of three years.

Sponsorship forms are available by visiting the club's web site: www.newphilarotary.com and downloading the sponsorship form. The deadline for new or renewing sponsors is Wednesday, Nov. 20.

"The funds raised from sponsor and patron donations will be used by the Rotary Club in the coming years to ensure Storybook Lane remains a Christmas season tradition for the hundreds of children and adults who drive by each evening read and recite these timeless nursery rhymes," Pipes added.