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Wellsburg hoping for a little Christmas magic, plans holiday event

CHRISTMAS SCENE — Decorated for the holidays by city crews, the Wellsburg Town Square and the city’s downtown business district have drawn compliments from visitors for their small-town charm. (Photo by Warren Scott)

WELLSBURG — Visitors to the city’s downtown business district and its town square often have commented on its pleasant appearance, but the area sees much less foot traffic outside the Wellsburg Applefest and other special events.

Angela Staffileno, a Brooke County native, hopes to remedy that through an outdoor Christmas event on the square, pending the local status of the pandemic, on Dec. 11 and 12.

Plans call for the event, dubbed the Winter Wonderland Hometown Holiday Market, to include 20 vendors of food, hand-made crafts and other items.

Aiding Staffileno are Alex Weld and other members of Downtown Wellsburg, a volunteer group formed a few years ago to promote the that area of the city.

Plans call for the event to be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 11 and noon to 8 p.m. Dec. 12. But Weld said if the COVID-19 level for the county is orange or red, it will be canceled.

If the event isn’t canceled, vendors and attendees will be expected to wear masks and practice social distancing to avoid spread of the virus. Weld added there also will be hand sanitizer at every booth.

Santa Claus also will on hand from noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 12 after participating in a short procession around the city beginning at 11 a.m. To protect everyone’s health, children won’t be invited to sit on the jolly old elf’s lap, but he will personally accept letters from youngsters attending.

Staffileno also has announced a Christmas house-decorating contest, with residents invited to submit photos or their homes to her at angela2015wv@gmail.com no later than Dec. 6.

The public will be invited to name their favorites among photos posted on the Winter Wonderland Hometown Holiday Market’s Facebook page or at the event. Each of the top three vote-getters will receive a gift card tree.

“No matter what happens (because of the pandemic), we’ll have the contest,” said Weld.

Staffileno and her helpers are encouraging antique shops and other downtown businesses to remain open during the event and offer special sales or activities.

“We’re hopeful this will give them a little boost,” said Weld.

She noted the owner of a new craft store opening in the former Federman’s store is planning to hold a craft class during the event.

To help promote it, Downtown Wellsburg has been selling Hometown Holiday Market shirts that depict, in a snow globe, three of the district’s historic structures, City Hall, Traubert’s Pharmacy and the Cipriani & Thomas Law Office.

A limited number of the long-sleeved, dark green T-shirts are still available and can be purchased through Downtown Wellsburg’s Facebook page and at the event. They were designed by Johanna Weiler.

In addition to Downtown Wellsburg, the event has received a boost through a handful of business sponsors. They are: Main Street Bank, Danielle Thomas Massage Therapy, Mullenbach Funeral Home and Reasner Funeral Home.

“We couldn’t have pulled it off without them,” said Weld.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com.)

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