By C.V. Moore
“Light Up Your Christmas” in historic downtown Fayetteville this weekend with three days of holiday activities focused on arts and crafts, music, and the eternal appeal of light.
“There’s a lot going on in Fayetteville. It doesn’t end once it’s too cold to get on the river,” says Sally Kiner of the Fayetteville CVB. “We just want to invite everyone to come and enjoy the holidays with us.”
Kiner hopes the event will pull folks into Fayetteville “to explore and discover our wonderful shops and restaurants, our history and culture, and to help jump start their Christmas celebration.”
This is the festival’s ninth year running, and its second sponsored by the Fayetteville Women’s Club, says Susan Hanson, program chair of the club. Hanson and her helpers have been working on the event since September.
One of the festival’s main events is a Christmas Craft Show, which begins at noon on Saturday. Fifty vendors from Fayette and surrounding counties will offer everything from apple butter to handmade chairs to felted hats at the Memorial Building. Concessions will include barbecue, pizza and baked goods.
There, Santa Claus will hold court and accept letters and wish lists from children. For extra face time with Santa, head to Cathedral Cafe before the show for Breakfast with Santa.
Each year at the craft show, United Bank sponsors the Giant Stocking Give-Away. Parents can register children for free. Right before the parade, Santa will draw a winner.
A parade following the craft show will include marching bands from three area schools, entries from five churches, floats built by local businesses, scout troops, service clubs and the JROTC.
Floats will compete for most original and best use of lights.
“We have (the parade) in the evening and we just wanted it to be glittery and stand out,” says Hanson.
Horses from the Fayette County Horsemen’s Association will also join the ranks. Santa Claus will be pulled in a wagon by horses from Meadow Bridge.
“We usually have a very good crowd. People line up on the sidewalks from the high school down through Main Street,” says Hanson.
This year the parade will be broadcast live on Fayetteville Community Television by WQAZ.
A free chili dinner and a youth choral concert follow the parade.
Or to continue in the theme of lights, take a drive down to the Fayette County Park and view their yearly display of “Lacy’s Lights,” a collection that has grown since it was started by Lacy Smith of Pax in 1967.
The New River Youth Symphony and Chorus and the Fayetteville Community Choir both present their holiday concerts this weekend as well.
Before and in between events, Kiner urges visitors to explore Fayetteville’s shops and restaurants. Comfy lodging, she says, is available for those who want to make it an overnight trip.
And then there’s the attraction Fayetteville is best known for these days — its outdoor surroundings.
“On these sunny winter days, it’s a good time for a brisk walk on the trails or a mountain bike ride through the woods,” says Kiner.
“Then (visitors) can come and tour around and check out our historic architecture, our new mural and our new sculpture.”
The Fayetteville Arts Coalition will host a party and official “reveal” of their new sculpture at Keller Ave. and Court Street Friday night.
“We want people to find out what’s so cool about one of America’s coolest small towns,” says Kiner. She invites one and all to “come and relax and enjoy some live music and libations.”
For more information about Fayetteville attractions, or to check out a special message from Santa Claus, visit the Fayetteville CVB website, www.visitfayettevillewv.com.
For more information about Light Up Your Christmas, call 304-574-2580.
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