Belmont to hold tree lighting ceremony

BELMONT — With Christmas right around the corner, many places in the Ohio Valley are boosting holiday spirit with different events.

In the village of Belmont, a tree lighting ceremony will take place 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the corner of Bridge Street and Ohio 147. Mayor Stanley Sobel said he hopes that the ceremony will remain a tradition the first Saturday of December every year.

“We hope that by bringing folks together for this event that it will allow for a happy holiday feeling to be shared by those who live in our village,” Sobel said. “I am always happy to see folks from all different family backgrounds attend and share this event together. There have been times when I have some proclaim that they only live a few blocks from someone else at the tree lighting, but have never had the chance to talk to them. It seems as if this event opens up lines of communication between people. That in itself is important in my eyes.”

Sobel said the 16-foot-tall Christmas tree was donated to the village by residents Michael and Cammie Luginski. The night of the lighting, the village will have Larry Compston’s middle school choir sing various Christmas songs. Belmont resident Jannie Bartlett will have the honor of flipping the switch to light the tree this year.

“Jannie taught second grade for close to 40 years at Belmont school,” Sobel said. “Many of those residents in the village either had children taught by her or they themselves were her students.”

Hot chocolate and cookies will be offered to those who attend the tree lighting free of charge. With weather permitting, each person at the event will be given a candle and sing the popular Christmas song Silent Night.

“We are really hoping for a large crowd to attend this event,” Sobel said.

Neighboring Belmont, the village of Bethesda will have its first tree lighting 6 p.m. Dec. 8 at the corner of Lake and Virginia streets after the annual parade at 5 p.m. There will also be caroling and cookies with Santa that evening.

Woodsfield is also kicking off the holiday season with a series of activities. The day will be begin with a free Breakfast with Santa at the Brown Community Center from 8:30-10:30 a.m. The breakfast is sponsored by the Woodsfield Kiwanis Club. For the opportunity to get a photo with Santa, residents of the village can stop by Modern Home and Hardware from 10 a.m. until noon.

There will also be the Annual Ornament Walk, organized by the Woodsfield Kiwanis. This is a walk around Woodsfield to receive ornaments from various businesses. Ornaments are free, but a there is a charge to participate. A craft show with more than 30 registered vendors will be at the Woodsfield Elementary and Monroe Central High School from 9a.m. to 4 p.m. The evening wraps up with a parade at 6:30 p.m. and and a tree lighting at the Woodsfield courthouse.