West Liberty was busy Nov. 24 with an assortment of festivities. At Town Hall the Christmas Tree Silent Auction wrapped up with the highest bid of $260 by Liesel Cornelius for the beautifully decorated Christmas tree donated by Bobbi Gratz and Cindee Boyd. The auction raised $1,115 for the West Liberty Historical Society Opera House project.
Paul Kari signed his book, “The Strength to Endure,” a memoir of his life starting at the age of 9 to his experience as a POW during the Vietnam War and his faith that brought him home to life after war. Paul donated the sale of his books to the West Liberty Historical Society Opera House project.
The second floor of the Town Hall was opened for folks to tour the Opera House and check on the progress of the renovation that is underway. Next door at the Bailey House, one of the oldest houses in the village, folks could take a tour of the future West Liberty museum.
At the Fire House around the corner folks could get warmed up with a cup of soup and visit with friends and family at the Old Fashioned Community Soup dinner.
Runners participated in the 19th annual Luminary 5K run on a course that looped twice around the west side of the village. Prizes were given out after the Christmas Parade at The Grove. First place men’s winner was Aaron Scott at 16:34, second was Ryan Haggerty at 17:31 and Alex Stiner at 18:03, placed third. In the women’s, first place was Summer Doty at 22:42, Taylor Kennedy at 24:17 and third was Vicki Kimball at 25:44.
The streets were full of people. Christmas music was heard as everyone anxiously waited for the Christmas parade to start. They could enjoy a free cup of hot chocolate passed out by Quest Community Church. The Grand Marshall of the parade was Scott Boyd who continues to recover from a bush hog accident last year. The parade paused momentarily for the lighting of the Village Christmas Tree. It is such a special occasion and one looked forward to every year. The West Liberty Business Association gave prizes for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place floats. Grace Chapel won first, Lions Club was second and coming in third was Solomon’s Garage.
Back at the Fire House the children waited in line for their chance to tell Santa what they wanted to find under their tree on Christmas morning. They each received a gift as well before they left. Several of the businesses were open later and shoppers took advantage. Some owners had snacks, beverage and freebies for the customers.
Up on the hill near the maintenance building at Fairview Cemetery sits one lone evergreen tree. The tree is called the Memory Tree and is decorated with Christmas lights. Folks are welcome to adorn the tree with a Christmas ornament to remember a loved one they have lost.
Tami Wenger is a regular contributor to this newspaper.