By John L. Ross/Staff Writer
Celebration is the name of the game during the holiday season, and the City of Williamsburg is playing the game to the hilt.
The annual “Christmas In A Small Town” celebration is set to begin with the parade at 6 pm. Saturday, Dec. 8.
Main Street Manager Nannie Hays said those participating in the parade need to line up beginning at 5 p.m. in front of Williamsburg City Schools.
The parade will end in Bill Woods Park, where Hays said several activities are planned.
She said The Colonel Strings, a music group comprised of students from Whitley County Schools, will perform music on stringed instruments.
“And for the first time ever, we’re going to have the Williamsburg Community Chorus on tap to perform,” Hays said. She explained member of the chorus are volunteers from the community “who just want to sing.”
Another highlight of the event is the Ornament Exchange, which Hays said is in its fifth year. She explained those participating bring a Christmas ornament in a bag labelled with their name. Those bags are gathered together, and as participants leave, they take a different bag with their new ornament inside.
“It’s a fun family event,” Hays said. “Interest just keeps growing every year.”
There is also a Memorial Tree decorated in Bill Woods Park, the fourth year this has been decorated, according to Hays. “You can get an ornament and put the name of someone you’d like to memorialize or honor,” she said. “The ornaments are then hung on the tree by the mayor and left throughout the Christmas season.
“We then take those ornaments down and carefully store them so we can hang them again the next year.”
Hays has her own ornaments on that tree. “I got ornaments to honor my mother and father,” she said. “It is really a neat thing for people wanting to remember their lost loved ones during the holidays, and it ends up being a longstanding memorial as long as we decorate a Memorial tree.”
The public is invited to attend. “We hope everybody comes,” Hays said. “We want people to come out and enjoy and celebrate the Christmas season with us here in Williamsburg.”
Temperatures are expected to be in the low- to mid-40s, and at this point there is only a small chance of rain. Attendees looking to warm up a bit after the parade can join ladies from Williamsburg City Hall, who will have hot chocolate and hot apple cider ready.