City prepares for Christmas activities and crowds
The town is decked with white lights and the tree in front of McMurran Hall is trimmed. It’s that time of year again – Christmas in Shepherdstown.
The celebration boasts a packed schedule from a craft bazaar at the War Memorial Building and carriage rides to a visit from Santa Claus and the annual Christmas parade.
Organizers say the celebration continues to grow every year.
“It seems to get bigger and bigger every year,” said Judy Shepherd, who volunteers her time to the celebration as well as plays the important role of Mrs. Claus.
Shepherd said the big event is the lighting of the town tree, which will happen this evening.
“The whole town comes out for that,” she said.
Meredith Wait, co-owner of Dickinson and Wait Craft Gallery and volunteer from the Shepherdstown Business Association, said the event began as a Victorian Christmas celebration.
“It’s morphed over the years kind of as a contemporary Christmas with Victorian themes,” she said.
The roasting chestnuts, carolers and lit luminaries throughout downtown Shepherdstown will surely set the scene of a traditional Christmas.
Both Shepherd and Wait express the important role of the community in this celebration.
Shepherd said the theme for Christmas in Shepherdstown is “Unity in Our Community.” She said residents travel for work daily, and this event is the opportunity for the entire town to come together and celebrate.
Wait said people near and far come to take part in the charming celebration.
“My experience is Shepherdstown is special,” she said. “This gives people an opportunity to be part of that specialness.”
Mayor Jim Auxer will address attendees this evening with the annual holiday welcome.
“Personally, as the mayor, it’s one of the nicest things you get to do for the year,” he said.
And don’t forget to bring the children out for photos with Santa this evening, Shepherd said.
“Hopefully we can make the town inviting and have something for everyone,” she said.
Sponsoring organizations include the Corporation of Shepherdstown, the Historic Shepherdstown Commission, the Kiwanis Club of Shepherdstown, the Shepherdstown Rotary Club, Shepherd University, the Shepherdstown Ministerial Assocation, the Shepherdstown Business Assocation, the Shepherdstown Visitors Center, the Shepherdstown Volunteer Fire Department and the State of West Virginia.
For more information and a schedule of events, visit the website at www.christmasinshepherdstown.com.