POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Christmas officially arrives in Point Pleasant on Friday with the city’s holiday parade and the lighting of the official Christmas tree at Gunn Park. In addition, nearly 50 individually decorated trees (a new record) from the Light of Christmas tree project, will also be illuminated at Fourth Street.
The city’s Christmas tree, estimated to be around 40-feet tall, arrived on Tuesday and was donated by Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School — a pine tree formerly located on campus. City workers cut and loaded the tree, then worked to place it as the centerpiece at Gunn Park. Workers from the street department were also busy preparing and decorating the rest of Gunn Park for Friday’s ceremony. Community members arrived earlier in the week to decorate their individual trees for the Light of Christmas which is a fundraiser for Mason County Toys for Kids, with organizer Brandy Barkey Sweeney reporting submissions nearly doubled from last year.
The city’s Christmas parade begins at 6 p.m. this Friday on Main Street. The parade lineup is at 5 p.m. at the old Mason County Board of Education Office/Central School at 12th Street. Contact Parade Director Denny Bellamy for more information at 304-675-6788. Registration is not required to participate.
The eighth annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony follows the parade at Gunn Park on Friday. A brief, scaled back lighting was held last year due to the pandemic but this year’s event is back to the full ceremony which will include:
Welcome by Mayor Brian Billings;
Performance from the Point Pleasant Junior High School Band under the direction of Emily Hall;
Reciting of the Christmas poem, “Why Do The Bells of Christmas Ring” by Eugene Field from City Clerk Amber Tatterson;
Pastor Jonathan Pinson from Grace Baptist Church delivers the message;
Pastor Bob Patterson from the First Church of God performs “How Many Kings”;
Patterson then leads the community in a version of “Silent Night”;
Lighting of the tree;
Point Pleasant High School Black Knight Band, under the direction of Ben Loudin, performs.
Bellemead United Methodist Church will once again provide hot chocolate while supplies last and will be set up around the Gunn Park area.
The chairperson of the lighting ceremony committee is Marla Cottrill, who initially brought the idea of bringing back the Christmas tradition to city council. Joining Cottrill on the committee are Mayor Billings, City Clerk Tatterson, Street Commissioner Randy Hall and Police Chief Joe Veith.
“I am so thankful that we will be able to have our 8th annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony for all to enjoy following the parade on Friday, Dec. 3,” stated Mayor Billings. “We hope that those attending will use precautions and wear a mask if they feel the need to do so. We still need to social distance when we can.”
In inviting the public to the parade and tree lighting, the Mayor added, “I look forward to seeing you and your family as we ring in the Christmas season together in historic Point Pleasant, down On 4th and Main Street.”
Also, from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 4, local downtown merchants will be participating in Christmas On Main, with prizes and other activities, including a food truck, free photo booth and holiday lights for shoppers.
The light display at Krodel Park is also open nightly in Point Pleasant.
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Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.