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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

ELKINS — The year was 1951. In the United States, the average cost of a house was $9,000, annual wage was $3,500, a car cost $1,500, and gas cost 19 cents per gallon. “I Love Lucy” premiered and “All About Eve” won the Oscar.” We were in the middle of the Korean War, Harry S. Truman was our president, the Great Flood of ’51 devastated the Midwest, and Betty Blanche Thomas of Charleston was Queen Silvia XV at that autumn’s Mountain State Forest Festival.

Much happened in 1951, but most important to this article, Meredith Wilson wrote “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” that year. Both Perry Como and Bing Crosby made their first recordings of this beloved Christmas song that has been recorded by hundreds of artists in the 70 years since.

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

“Everywhere you go!”

Building A Vibrant Community takes collaboration, planning, and engagement. But sometimes, a bit of serendipity breaks in and “Ah-ha!” moments happen. A few months ago, while some folks in town were gathered to collaborate, plan, and determine how we could engage the citizens in alternative ways during the craziness of 2020, a tiny spark of an idea blossomed. We were lamenting how a parade with hundreds of people crowded together on Davis Avenue in downtown Elkins was probably a bad idea, and how sad we were that our beloved “Polar Express” wouldn’t be bringing families in Christmas PJ’s to town.

Elkins City Council member Charlie Friddle pondered during a virtual gathering about a big, fun holiday light display contest. Others on the phone contributed add-on ideas. Soon, a plan congealed. Both Elkins City Council and the Randolph County Commission enthusiastically supported the idea, and so the real work began. In just a few short weeks, committees from the Chamber and Elkins Main Street worked together to bring to Elkins and Randolph County the first ever Christmas Lights Display Contest going on now.

“But the prettiest sight to see

“Is the holly that will be

“On your own front door.”

Well over 60 businesses and residences decided to join the fun! Awards will be announced and distributed on Dec. 18, and, hopefully, they will all keep their lights up until at least Dec. 28 for our community and guests to enjoy.

Best of all, think of the possibilities for 2021 and beyond! If our lives have returned to at least a “new normal” next year… If the Polar Express is back taking passengers to the North Pole… If the Chamber’s “Jingle All The Way” Parade returns to Davis Avenue… If we have a Second Annual Christmas Lights Display Contest… If our county embraces these holiday events and more, we could become known as “West Virginia’s Christmas Community!” Now that would literally make our community very vibrant indeed!

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

“Soon the bells will start

“And the thing that will make them ring

“Is the carol that you sing

“Right within your heart.”

To view a Google Pin Map of the light displays throughout the county, visit www.erccc.com.

Compliments of Tygart Valley Orthopedics, the Chamber has free copies of “Building A Vibrant Community” available to those who are interested.

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