Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2007

Old traditions meet new as Clarksburg welcomes holidays

Weekend events designed to bring community together

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Revelers are invited to welcome the holiday season in Clarksburg, where a small living Christmas tree will be illuminated Friday night, followed by a Saturday wine tasting and holiday boutique that some say they want to become a tradition.

Eloise Woodfield, a founder of the Clarksburg Historical Society, which is sponsoring the tree lighting, said she hopes that new community members come to the event to meet some of the town’s longtime residents.

Instead of buying a tree that will be removed in February, the society invested in a live tree than can thrive as the community grows. The event has been a tradition in Clarksburg since the early 1970s, and the society has always bought a tree that would have to be removed.

‘‘We chose to do a smaller tree so it can have roots like a lot of us in Clarksburg,” Woodfield said. ‘‘We felt we would be saving our trees by doing that.”

The free tree lighting event will feature The Spirit of Clarksburg Marching Band and a community singalong, as well as free coffee and hot cocoa. It will begin at 7 p.m. at the intersection of Route 355 and Clarksburg Road, near the Damascus Community Bank.

The next day, visitors can warm their spirits during the Holiday Boutique and Wine Tasting, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Highlands of Clarksburg shopping center at 23207 Stringtown Road. The Clarksburg Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the event.

More than 20 vendors from around the upcounty will set up shop outside the shopping center. They will sell chocolates, discounted vacation packages, handmade jewelry and coffee.

‘‘The biggest reason for the event is we wanted to demonstrate for the community what are really wonderful place Clarksburg is and can be,” said Gordon Taylor, the owner of Upcounty Fine Wine & Beer, where visitors can sample wines at the event. ‘‘We saw this as a really excellent way to showcase the community spirit around the holidays.”

Clarksburg resident Quanisha Wathington, 18, will perform holiday carols at the boutique from 1 to 2 p.m. in front of the Clarksburg Ombudsman’s Office. She will lead visitors in a holiday singalong.

Wathington has been working at Upcounty Fine Wine & Beer for the past year.

Clarksburg resident Theresa Cox added some cheer to two of the buildings in the shopping center. Cox decorated the Mayorga Coffee shop with ornaments on the outside of the building and scattered gift boxes inside the store. She added wreaths and ribbons to the Clarksburg Ombudsman building.