Our View: ‘Follow(ing) the star’

Posted: November 26, 2012

With the arrival of this recent blast of cold weather and the installation of festive holiday lighting downtown, it’s already beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Winchester. But this most joyous of seasons truly kicks into high gear locally today.

Starting at twilight, the city will be “powered by Christmas magic,” as downtown Winchester welcomes the yuletide — and its most notable rotund visitor — with the city’s annual Christmas parade and tree-lighting ceremony.

Sponsored jointly by the Parks and Recreation Department and the Old Town Development Board, the multifaceted event will begin at 5:30 with the outdoor showing — dress warmly, folks, and don’t forget to bring a chair — of the animated feature “Arthur Christmas” on the grounds of the Old Court House Civil War Museum. Then, it’s on to the Christmas parade, followed by the tree-lighting ceremony, with Jolly Ol’ St. Nick handling the honors.

The parade will feature in excess of 40 units — all our local bands (middle school as well as high school), floats, other marching units, the city’s BMXers, and, of course, Santa Claus himself. Among the floats? One from Fellowship Bible Church, complete with live animals, to promote its live Nativity scene titled “Follow the Star.”

After years of being held on a Saturday, the parade and tree-lighting seem to once again have found a home on Monday night. And that, despite the possibility of a wintry nip to the air, lends more of a Christmas feel to the festivities — especially given the fact that Santa travels best, and more customarily, after dark.

Still, whenever it transpires, this event is meant to bring the entire community together — which, after all, is one of the beneficial byproducts of this glorious feast day and season.

Hope to see you there!