There’s lots to do this Christmas season

Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season is officially under way.

Several of our area communities have hosted light-up events, with Weirton’s attracting well over 200 residents to the intersection of Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue last weekend to see this year’s community Christmas tree lit up.

Steubenville held its festivities this past week, with hundreds gathered in and around Historic Fort Steuben to see fireworks, Christmas lights and this year’s nutcracker display unveiled.

Wellsburg held its Christmas parade Friday afternoon, and Weirton’s was held Saturday night.

Our local parades are always festive events, with floats, candy and more. Weirton, of course, has featured fireworks and ice sculptures in recent years. It’s planned by the Weirton Chamber.

We are all getting into the holiday spirit, and hopefully we also keep in mind some of the things we can do this time of year as we go out into our communities.

There are still parades set to take place, and it’s always nice to see residents get out and enjoy them. The thing to remember is most of these events are organized by volunteer organizations, and taking part also is a way to support their efforts in our communities.

The Weirton Parks Board will host a Lunch with Santa on Dec. 8 at the Millsop Community Center, for example, and I’ve heard there will be another chance for kids to meet the jolly old elf Dec. 9 at Marland Heights Park. That event is organized by the Marland Heights Community Association.

This past Friday, members of the Striplight Community Theatre Co. were at Cove Commons to kick off a new program dubbed “Carols in the Park.” The plan is for them to set up around 5:30 p.m. every Friday through Christmas at Cove Commons (the small park area at the intersection of Main Street and Cove Road in Weirton). Each week will have a different theme, with them singing various Christmas songs, both traditional and modern. It’s open to the public, so I would encourage everyone to come out and at least listen if not join in.

I’ve never been much of a singer myself, but as I was reminded Friday night, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.”

Striplight Theatre Co. also is in the midst of preparing its own Christmas production of “Charlie Brown.” You should check them out for more information on show times and dates.

The Wellsburg Kiwanis Club traditionally sells luminaria leading up to Christmas. I have many good memories of driving through Brooke County on Christmas Eve, and looking at the luminaria lit up along Route 2 in Follansbee and Wellsburg. We usually go to visit my maternal grandparents that night, and my grandfather, uncle and I set some out in their yard.

Steubenville’s parade is set for Dec. 8, and I’ve heard it’s always a big show.

Numerous area churches have programs and special meals or fundraisers this time of year. Several organizations volunteer with the Salvation Army.

Then, there are light displays. I’ve mentioned this in the past, but it’s always a nice time to go for a drive and check out some of the light displays in the Ohio Valley. Whether it’s a trip through Oglebay, going up to Three Springs Drive to see the display organized by the Weirton Chamber, or simply trekking through your neighborhood, there are an uncountable number of lights, decorations and more to help brighten the spirit in our area.

There really is much to do in the coming weeks, and I’m sure I haven’t even scratched the surface. We all have an opportunity to get out and enjoy our communities, and what better way than during the happiest season of all.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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