Chesapeake tree lighting scheduled for Friday

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 29, 2007

Chesapeake — Dick Gilpin, mayor-elect of the village of Chesapeake and resident since 1982, is ready for Christmas.

As chairman of the Chesapeake Area Citizens Coalition, a group formed 12 years ago to address issues of concern to the tiny community of approximately 850, Gilpin and other concerned citizens created the organization as a means of unifying the community through town improvement and public works projects. Now primarily a festival committee, the CACC sponsors Chesapeake’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Triangle Park, a tradition for the past dozen years.

The tree lighting ceremony will take place at 6 p.m., regardless of weather, and will last about an hour and a half.

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The tree is the only permanent fixture of Triangle Park, a small, grassy area in the town’s center. However, the beautiful, seven-foot pine is a resident new to the community. The previous tree died earlier this fall but was replaced with one from Kotalic Landscaping, located across the river in West Virginia on Route 2, and was planted on Oct. 1. It is already decorated and waiting to be lit this coming Friday.

The evening’s festivities will include choral performances by the students of Chesapeake’s elementary school, led by Bethany Himes, and the middle and high schools, under the direction of Rachael Woodrum. Cookies, candy, and hot chocolate will be in generous supply to fortify the crowd for the arrival of Santa, not on his traditional sleigh, but atop a gleaming red fire truck.

The ceremony has been well attended in the past, and Gilpin predicts a crowd of several hundred people.

When asked to sum up the festival, he said simply, “If you want an enjoyable evening that doesn’t require a large commitment of time, come out and be part of our Christmas season and enjoy the children of our school district as they sing and perform for us.”

To learn more about the Chesapeake Area Citizens Coalition or to volunteer, contact Dick Gilpin at (740) 867-3131.