In last Saturday's paper you will see photos from the Christmas tree lighting ceremony Wednesday night in Westernport.
In last Saturday’s paper you will see photos from the Christmas tree lighting ceremony Wednesday night in Westernport.
I am really proud of my adopted hometown for the way they have “decked the halls” for Christmas. Not only is Main Street ablaze with color that reminds you of a scene straight out of a Hallmark holiday movie, but the town park is also sparkling with lights and a great big lighted “Westernport” sign greets motorists as they travel through the town on either Route 135 or 36.
And while you’re at it, make sure you stop and take a look inside Town Hall, which is just beautiful with white lights all around.
It has been my experience since moving to Westernport 25 years ago that all the towns “up and down the Crick,” from Luke to Westernport, Barton, Lonaconing and Midland, have always dressed up for the holidays and, more importantly, have not been hesitant to pay tribute to the “reason for the season” by placing Nativity scenes in prominent places.
AND those same towns always make sure they are up and decorated before the official first day of Christmas shopping on Black Friday.
In fact, I don’t think it was very long after Halloween that Westernport first started putting up their tinsel and lights this year.
Now let’s trek down from “the Crick,” and come to Keyser. As of this writing (Friday after Thanksgiving), there are no lights, tinsel or wreaths to be seen either in the downtown or alone our main highway through town.
I’m assuming the city crews will be putting the decorations up the first of next week - just in time (barely) for Friday’s Christmas parade.
Now, this is not a new thing for Keyser. In my first go-round as editor here, I publicly complained about the slowness in getting the town ready for the holidays and was told at that time that they couldn’t plan any decorating during “Deer Week” because everyone was out in the woods and those who weren’t were left short-handed.
Maybe that’s just one reason the smaller towns started at the beginning of November?
And yes, I know our town crews - whether a city the size of Keyser or a town the size of Luke - are very busy with their normal day-do-day work, much less any emergencies that might occur, like broken water lines.
God bless ‘em for the job they do - often in no so nice conditions.
But again I might say - that is just one more reason to start early. The Westernport crews took several days working around their normal schedules before they got everything out and in place.
Please be assured, this is in no way an indictment of the area towns’ hard-working crews.
The fault, I believe, lies with the elected officials who oversee the town crews.
Why, for example, was the Keyser City Council just this past Wednesday discussing getting the electricity set up so they can put the Christmas tree back on the former Telemedia lot beside the new gym (former Reed’s Drug Store)?
I must give them credit, however, for purchasing new LED lights for the tree this year, as the old lights kept flipping breakers and the new lights should save the town some money.
Here’s the thing: Of all the area towns, the one town that should be lit up and decorated to the hilt is the home of Frosty the Snowman.
And so I won’t be accused of complaining and not offering any help in the matter, I’d like to make two proposals:
Next year, let’s get started on Keyser’s decorations earlier, so we aren’t so dark and dreary as everyone around us is lit up and shining brightly.
Secondly (and here’s where I come in), let’s form a committee to do some serious talking about how we can capitalize on the fact that we are, indeed, the home of Frosty the Snowman (or at least his creator, Jack Rollins).
Several years ago, someone (my short memory won’t tell me who) declared that forever more the Christmas parade should be held in honor of Frosty.
A snowman costume was even purchased and the jovial character made appearances at several different places and events in addition to the parade.
Today, no one seems to have a clue where that costume is, unfortunately.
We had the right idea back then, however, and it’s now time to pick that idea back up and run with it.
Who’s with me?
Just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll form a Frosty committee and hopefully meet sometime after the holidays to get started for next year.
This could be Keyser’s claim to fame!