POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — The streets of downtown Point Pleasant were packed with people on Friday for the return of the city’s Christmas Parade and the eighth annual tree-lighting ceremony.
The city’s Christmas tree, estimated to be around 40-feet tall, arrived last week and was donated by Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School — a pine tree formerly located on campus. City workers decorated the tree which includes the placement of 64 angels hung in memory of those lost to COVID-19 over the past couple of years, according to Mayor Brian Billings.
The tree is the centerpiece in Gunn Park, surrounded by nearly 50 individually decorated trees (a new record) from the Light of Christmas tree project — these trees raise money for Mason County Toys for Kids.
Following a parade that lasted around 45 minutes, several gathered at Gunn Park for the tree lighting ceremony.
The welcome was delivered by Mayor Billings, followed by a performance from the Point Pleasant Junior High School Band under the direction of Emily Hall.
Then, City Clerk Amber Tatterson recited the Christmas poem, “Why Do The Bells of Christmas Ring” by Eugene Field and also spoke on behalf of event organizers in recognizing the work of the Light of Christmas tree project ‘s Brandy Barkey Sweeney and the group’s record year.
Ethan Bartlett led the PPHS Choir members in a performance.
Pastor Jonathan Pinson from Grace Baptist Church delivered the message, including revisiting the birth of Jesus Christ and related scripture from The Bible.
Pastor Bob Patterson from the First Church of God performed “How Many Kings” and led the community in a version of “Silent Night.”
The Point Pleasant High School Black Knight Band, under the direction of Ben Loudin, closed out the ceremony.
Bellemead United Methodist Church once again provided hot chocolate.
The Mayor noted the chairperson of the lighting ceremony committee was 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.
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Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.