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The spirit of Christmas lit up Grafton Saturday

Posted: Wednesday, Dec 5th, 2012

Grafton Mayor, G. Thomas Bartlett, III directs visitors to the Grafton Fire Department for the Gigantic Toy Giveaway following the Mayoral Tree Lighting Ceremony Saturday.This little boy’s excitement could be felt throughout the room, as Santa presented him with a new bike for Christmas Saturday.

GRAFTON – Through cooperation and dedication, Grafton brought a Hometown Christmas to Taylor County residents last Saturday. An evening parade, following numerous events and open houses on Main Street, led everyone to the grounds of the International Mother’s Day Shrine for Grafton’s first annual Mayoral Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Through the cooperation of the City of Grafton’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Grafton Volunteer Fire Department, the Mountain Statesman, and many volunteers, this year’s event took Christmas in Grafton to a new level. The parade was bigger and better than ever this year with new groups and businesses leading Santa and Mrs. Claus into town.

Another twist saw the annual parade take place after dark. The city had decorated Main Street with lighted poles and banners to lead the way, and it truly looked like a winter wonderland as one looked down Main Street from the Shrine. The lights from fire engines and police cars were a dazzling-site, as the parade participants brought in the season leading to the official ceremony.

O the platform, next to a large recently decorated tree, stood Grafton Mayor G. Thomas Bartlett, III, his lovely wife Barbara, Grafton City Manager Kevin Stead, Wilson Ridge Church of Christ Evangelist, and Mountain Statesman’s own, Bobby Jennings, and Santa and Mrs. Claus. Stead started the ceremony by welcoming everyone to Grafton, and by thanking the groups and organizations that made all of this possible.

Mayor Bartlett flipped the switch after a rousing countdown from five, and the tree came to life, marking the Christmas season in Grafton.

After the lighting ceremony, as bells rang out from the Church of the covenant and the Shrine, Mayor Bartlett thanked everyone for coming and directed them to the Grafton Fire Department, where Santa was poised and ready to deliver good Christmas cheer. Nearly 200 children were able to accept their early presents from Santa and Mrs. Claus. And their faces displayed the wonder of the season as they looked up at Santa to receive their special gifts.

Earlier in the day, local businesses held open houses, the Grafton High School Band sponsored its annual craft show, and Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial City Post sponsored breakfast with our red suited, white bearded, friend from the north.

As an added attraction this year, the Clarksburg Area Model Railroad Club set up a fantastic display at the Grafton B&O Depot. It was a surreal feeling to watch the model trains make their way around the extensive track, as CSX full-size trains could be seen rolling by out of the Depot windows.

Grafton’s Hometown Christmas was a tremendous success, and it just leaves us wanting more for next December.

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