NEW PHILADELPHIA -- Storybook Lane has been a Christmas tradition in New Philadelphia for more than half a century. The 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. Tom Police, Storybook Lane Project co-chairman, said sponsor and patron donations at the time helped to pay the costs of repairs and repainting of the characters, replacement of electric motors and moving parts, and updating of the lighting system.

Police said the club is asking for new patrons to be added to the "Friends of Storybook Lane" board. Existing patrons due for renewal this year were already sent renewal notices in the mail. A three-year Patron listing is $100. A single line of recognition on the Friends board is provided with a maximum of 40 letters and spaces. Police said the 24 Verse Board Sponsors are not up for renewal this year and those families will be contacted next year and given first opportunity to renew for another three years.

Those interested in becoming a Patron of Storybook Lane should visit the club's website: www.newphilarotary.com and print the Storybook Lane patron form. The deadline for new patrons is Friday, Nov. 6.