POINT PLEASANT — The streets of downtown Point Pleasant were packed Friday night for the annual Christmas parade and second annual Christmas tree lighting event at Gunn Park.
At the Christmas tree lighting, Mayor Brian Billings, speaking on behalf of City Clerk Amber Tatterson and Point Pleasant City Council, gave opening remarks, thanking all those who helped pull off the event, including Marla Cottrill who brought back the traditional tree lighting to the city and is the chairperson of the event.
Billings also singled out Crow-Hussell Funeral Home who donated the tree which is 28-feet tall, planted in 1999 in memory of the late Lou Hussell. Also recognized, Brandy Barkey Sweeney and the “Light of Christmas” tree project which brought several individually decorated trees to Gunn Park to raise funds for Mason County Toys for Kids. Billings also expressed thanks to employees in the city’s street department who have worked hours behind the scenes making sure the lights came on when the big moment arrived. Billings also thanked those who participated in what he called one of the largest Christmas parades the town had seen.
Just prior to the actual countdown to lighting the tree, Pastor Bob Patterson with the First Church of God, spoke about Christmas being the “season of advent” and how “advent” meant anticipation and expectation. He talked about seeing the children anticipating the parade and the tree lighting, and toys and candy as the season progresses. He also talked about adults anticipating things happening in their own lives, praying that God will move on their prayers.
“We have the anticipation and expectation that life will get better,” Patterson told the crowd before leading a prayer.
Billings then began the countdown to the tree lighting with the large crowd counting down with him as the huge tree lit up to applause.
Also performing at the event were the Point Pleasant Junior High School Band led by Chipper Hendricks, Point Pleasant High School Band led by Ben Loudin and Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School Choir, led by Crystal Hendricks. Rob Jarrell provided the sound system.
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