Thursday, April 24, 2014

Christmas tradition returning Saturday to Richmond

By The Herald Staff | 12/9/2013

RICHMOND — Letting a long-running tradition fall to the wayside wasn’t an option, Connie Weber said.

The lighting of the mayor’s Christmas tree, along with the community’s Christmas festivities, will return 6 p.m. Saturday in Richmond, Weber, festival organizer and Richmond Library director, said.

RICHMOND — Letting a long-running tradition fall to the wayside wasn’t an option, Connie Weber said.

The lighting of the mayor’s Christmas tree, along with the community’s Christmas festivities, will return 6 p.m. Saturday in Richmond, Weber, festival organizer and Richmond Library director, said.

“[The festival] started out as a city mayor and city council thing,” Weber said. “One mayor left and another left and I was always helping, so I ended up doing more and more and I didn’t want it to fall apart.”

This year’s Christmas events are planned between Central and Ransom streets, across from Beachner Grain, Weber said. From there, the festivities continue at the Richmond Community Building, 205 E. Central Ave., Richmond, where a free will dinner is served.

“After dinner, Santa shows up and reads the Christmas story to the kids,” she said. “They all sit on Santa’s lap and get a goodie bag. After everyone’s done, the library has a Christmas raffle and announce the winners of the raffle and the winners of the house lighting contest also.”

Donations help keep the Christmas tradition going, Weber said.

“The money goes to buy the lights for the [mayor’s] Christmas trees,” she said. “Also so we have the money ahead of time for food because you have to go year-to-year and also purchase table decorations and in the Santa bags we buy candy and little toys.”

In addition, a group of Richmond residents is expected to choose the community’s best Christmas lighting display, Weber said, with first, second and third places awarded.

When it comes to organizing the festival itself, Weber is sort of a one-person force, she said, but she doesn’t mind because she’s full of holiday spirit.

“It’s Christmas and you need a place for people to get together and gather,” she said. “It’s the holidays and we’re a small town — We need to stay together and it’s a good place to sit and talk. I’m a Christmas person on top of that, so when I took over I wasn’t going to let [the Christmas festival] fall.”

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