POINT PLEASANT — Christmas has officially arrived in downtown Point Pleasant with the lighting of the city’s 25-foot tall Christmas tree.
The tree, which came from the home of David and Pam Jarvis in Gallipolis Ferry, reportedly was planted by their son Jacob from a seedling when he was in first grade – he’s now 22. The tree, which is also 18-feet wide, was purchased by Crow-Hussell Funeral Home and donated to the City of Point Pleasant. City workers cut, transported, and decorated it for the tree lighting ceremony at Gunn Park Friday night after the annual Christmas parade.
Mayor Brian Billings welcomed everyone to the ceremony on behalf of City Clerk Amber Tatterson and council members. Billings spoke about how the tree came to rest in the city, and the committee, headed by Marla Cottrill, which helped bring the tree-lighting tradition back to life. Pastor Jonathan Pinson delivered the message, speaking about the first Christmas and the opportunity to remember the reason for the season.
There were performances by the 225-member strong Point Pleasant Junior and Senior High School choir members, under the direction of Crystal Hendricks, as well as the PPJHS Marching Band under the director of Chipper Hendricks, and the PPHS Black Knight Marching Band, under the direction of Ben Loudin.
Pastor Bob Patterson sang “Mary did you know?” He also led the crowd in an acapella rendition of “Silent Night.”
Then, Billings and the crowd, in unison, counted down to the moment when the tree was lit. In addition to the city’s tree, nearly 25 smaller trees, which are part of the Light of Christmas tree project, also were ablaze, including a Mothman-themed tree. That project is under the direction of Brandy and Brandon Sweeney and is a fundraiser for Mason County Toys for Kids.
Gunn Park will be lit every night through the Christmas season, allowing visitors to take in the lights and the sights of the holidays downtown.
Reach Beth Sergent at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.
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