Mayor Dale Hudler addressed the crowd, thanking the sponsors for their participation and all the citizens for their attendance. West Jefferson Business Association organized the event that includes lighting of the town Christmas tree, donated by Mayor Hudler.
The event also included Christmas songs by local Girl Scouts, hot chocolate for the crowd, appearance by Rudolf, Frosty and elves and the jolly ol’ man from the north, Santa Claus. Santa arrived on the West Jefferson Fire Department antique fire truck and visited with the children, and children also took a ride on the fire truck. (If you counted the people in line between Santa and the fire truck, it appeared as though West Jefferson Fire Department is more popular than Santa Claus!)
After the tree lighting, folks were invited to stroll the streets, admire the beautifully decorated shop windows, and visit the local businesses, many of which stayed open a bit late for some early holiday shopping. Shoppers and strollers are invited back to another late evening event on Friday, Dec. 2 for the Christmas Crawl. Shops will be open 5-8 p.m. for this holiday event.
Also coming this weekend will be the final Holiday Market at the Ashe County Farmers Market, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday on the Backstreet, a Holiday Open House at the Ashe Arts Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and ‘Saturday with Santa’ at the Arts Center from 8:30 to 10:45 a.m., as well as the Ashe County Choral Society Holiday Concert at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday at the Ashe Civic Center.
Choose and Cut season is well underway in Ashe County and everyone is encouraged to purchase locally grown fresh trees and greenery for their holiday decorating. Many local farms participate in the choose and cut tradition. Go to ashecountychristmastrees.com and click on choose and cut to get a list of farms, a map and directions, or call the Cooperative Extension Service, Ashe County Center, at 846-5850 or the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce at 846-9550.