What a wonderfully successful celebration of community and Christmas we had last week with the second annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony.
Close to 300 people gathered in Back Street Park in West Jefferson for lighting of the town’s tree by the preeminent tree growers of River Ridge Tree Farm.
They are of course the ones known far and wide now as the suppliers of the main White House Christmas Tree.
Quite honestly the county’s tree growers have put this county on the map. They deserve a bit of recognition and acclaim. Davis and Estes family members from River Ridge Farm represented us by presenting the tree and a greeting from area elementary school children to First Lady Laura Bush.
The tree lighting followed a celebration of the White House tree at Ashe County Courthouse.
That is impressive enough to a newby such as myself to this community.
I am also a bit surprised at the ability of the town to turn out 300 people to a Christmas Tree lighting.
My former residence of Elkin made a big production of its “Light up Downtown Night.” It had been going on for close to five years and barely drew 25.Of course it was also scheduled opposite football playoffs in a town where football is king.
Other places I have lived have developed impressive tree-lighting ceremonies after eight or 10 years, drawing on a town population of 10,000.
They pulled out every trick in the book n beautiful lights, Santa, locally-revered soloists, church choirs and -- to top it off