Shepherdstown has ushered in the Christmas season officially with the annual lighting of the tree and arrival of Santa Claus.
As is town tradition, Mrs. Claus, Shepherdstown resident Judy Shepherd, read the story of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." to an audience of children and parents.
Residents gathered all along German St. for the event, which also featured a bonfire with s'mores provided by the Shepherdstown Fire Department, and roasted chestnuts for sale in front of the Shepherdstown Public Library.
Mayor Jim Auxer gave remarks welcoming the holiday season.
"We mark the special times in our lives in many ways. Tonight's celebration is one of them," he said.
"Tonight the lighting of this beautiful tree marks the celebration of our town," he said.
In addition to ringing in the holidays, the mayor offered thoughts of appreciation to the various members of the community who helped make the celebration possible.
"We should be grateful for the opportunity to live in this wonderful community," he said.
"Shepherdstown is a community that prides itself on embracing the common good."
"Please hug your neighbor," he directed the crowd.
Following the Mayor's speech, the crowd was led through a chorus of the popular Christmas song, 'Jingle Bells' as they awaited the arrival of Old St. Nick.
The evening culminated in an opportunity for each waiting child to meet Santa Claus up close in Shepherd University's McMurran Hall.
Christmas in Shepherdstown events continued throughout the weekend and will continue throughout the month of December.
The annual Christmas Parade will take place this Saturday, Dec. 7 at 11 a.m. For more info about events visit www.christmasinshepherdstown.com.