WILLIAMSON — Action in Mingo (AIM) members met at the Williamson Fire Department this past Monday evening to finalize plans for the Great White Way celebration that is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in downtown Williamson. If all goes as planned, this will be a year to remember for those working hard to make it a success, along with those who take part in the variety of festivities.
The Righteous Brew Coffee House will kick off the event when they host “Breakfast with Santa” scheduled for 9:30 a.m., at a cost of $5 per child. Come out and bring your little ones for a chance to eat breakfast with Ole’ St. Nick, a popular event that has in the past, been hailed as a fun, family event. For more information or to reserve your child a place at Santa’s breakfast table, please call 304-235-2003.
The next activity of the day is slated to begin at 11 a.m. at the Sycamore Inn, where owners Doyle and Linda Van Meter will conduct a gingerbread workshop for area children at no cost to the public. The gingerbread house creation is an annual event for the Van Meters, who greatly enjoy spending time with the kids who participate. The children who choose to join in the fun will be transported from the Righteous Brew and the Breakfast with Santa via the “Pocahontas Express” (weather permitting), and will also have an opportunity to ride the children’s train to the Williamson Public Library following the Gingerbread Workshop, where they will have stories read to them and will also do Christmas craft projects. They will be treated to snacks and refreshments during the event.
Craft and food vendors are welcome to sit up inside the Williamson Christian School to peddle their wares on Saturday. There will no admission for the general public to attend and also no charge to set up a booth. Vendors will be responsible for providing their own tables on which to display their items. You are asked to have your booth set up and ready to go by noon. The event will conclude after the completion of the parade.
If you, your organization or business is interested in being a vendor for the Great White Way, you are asked to contact Sue Dove at 304-235-0099, Rachel Baldwin at 304-235-4242 ext. 18, Machele McCormick at 304-235-0312 or AIM President Mae Stallard at 304-235-5560, no later than Nov. 30 to reserve your spot.
Church choirs and choral groups are encouraged to serenade the crowd attending the Great White Way with their own renditions of Christmas favorites. The AIM group would like to have several groups of carolers set up in different locations throughout the town during the afternoon, between the hours of 4 and 5 p.m. The singers are also asked to walk or ride in the Great White Way parade. If your group is interested in caroling, please contact one of the numbers listed above.
The Coal House, the home of the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce, will be open to the public during the holiday festivities and also plan to serve refreshments. The Goodwill Industries retail store will be serving cookies and punch from noon until 5 p.m. The Williamson Woman’s Club will be set up inside the Tug Valley Inn on 2nd Avenue across from the Methodist Church as well as during the Meet Santa event at the Cinderella Theater, and will be offering cups of homemade wassail to the public. Williamson Primary Care Associates on 2nd Ave. will be serving freshly-popped popcorn and will be distributing informational pamphlets about the importance of eating healthy.
The kid’s “Reindeer Run”, under the supervision of David Hatfield and the Tug Valley Road Runners Club will take place on 2nd Avenue at 3:30 p.m. Registration for the race will be held in front of the Williamson Christian School beginning at 2. All children ages 10 and under are eligible to enter. There is no charge for the event and prizes will be awarded.
If you plan to enter the homemade goodies contest that is sponsored by the City of Williamson and the AIM group, you must have your entries brought in a nonreturnable container to the Cinderella Theater no later than 2 p.m. The categories for this year’s competition will be cakes, pies, cookies, candy and miscellaneous desserts. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes that will be awarded in each division will be $100, $50 and $25. Judging will be from 3-4 p.m. The entries will be served to the crowd who gathers for the “Meet Santa” reception. Homemade chili will also be available. The youngsters who take time to speak with Santa to tell him what’s on their Christmas wish list will receive a goody bag, courtesy of the Williamson Memorial Hospital.
The lineup for the Great White Way Christmas parade will be at 4:30 p.m., in the vicinity of the Sycamore Inn. The parade is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. and everyone is invited to participate. Groups, churches or sports teams are encouraged to make floats for the event and prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers.
All downtown businesses are asked to decorate their windows using white lights to coincide with the Great White Way theme, and will eligible for gift certificates from an area business that will provide lunch for your office staff. Categories you may choose from include “Children’s Christmas”, “Traditional Christmas” or the third division, “Anything Goes”. The only rule is that white lights must be incorporated in the decorations. Judging will take place on Friday, Dec. 14. The top 3 finishers will receive prizes that will be presented on Monday, Dec. 17th. The businesses who participate are asked to have their displays lit up for Saturday’s Great White Way celebration.
If your child would like to enter a “snowman coloring contest”, you may pick up an entry sheet and snowman picture at the Williamson Daily News, located on 2nd Avenue across from City Tire starting on Nov. 1. Prizes will be awarded for the top finishers in age groups 1-3, 4-6 and 7-10. The winners will receive a monetary gift card during the “Meet Santa” reception at the Cinderella Theater.
“It makes me so pleased to see our AIM members working hard to make our Great White Way celebration something that everyone can enjoy,” said Stallard. “We’re blessed with a great group of people that care about our town and the surrounding communities.”
“We hope that everyone will come and spend the afternoon and evening with us and enjoy a good ole’ fashioned Christmas celebration.”
The AIM group will be holding their last meeting of the year on Mon., Nov. 26 at 5 p.m. on the 2nd floor of the WFD. The public is invited to attend and to join the community group.