Once again the entire community of Alderson has come together to organize holiday activities for everyone.
Initiated by Alderson Main Street and coordinated by Lynda Howe, businesses, civic clubs, churches and more are working to provide something for everyone from Santaland for the children to unique shopping opportunities to church services.
Beginning on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 24, the shops of Alderson will be open with some late hours. Alderson’s Store has unusual items and the Artisans Gallery has one-of-a-kind handcrafted pieces. Bridgewalk Shops & Cafe focuses on beautiful items and delicious food for everyone’s budget. Hungry yet? Subway of Alderson also has great sandwiches and more!
The annual Christmas Parade will line up starting at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30, and step off at 7 p.m. when the “Queen of Lights” waves her magic wand to light up the Alderson Memorial Bridge, the star which shines over the town, and the Grand Illumination of Alderson businesses and homes. Santa himself will be the last entry in the parade riding on the Alderson Volunteer Fire Department’s newest fire truck. The parade ends at the Alderson Community Center for the Arts and Humanities where Santa will hear the wishes of all the girls and boys. The ACCAH Board and the Alderson Women’s Club will provide hot chocolate and cookies to everyone.
Once the lights are illuminated on the Alderson Memorial Bridge, they will provide an unusual show. The lights will “dance to the music” which can be dialed in on an FM frequency in cars which “drive under the lights” for a donation to a civic organization. The bridge will be open and staffed on Friday and Saturday evenings from 6-8 p.m. from Nov. 30 to Dec. 23.
Vehicles will enter on the Greenbrier side of the bridge and may take as much time as they wish to cross. A volunteer on the Monroe side will control traffic over the railroad tracks. On that end of the bridge, visitors can enjoy the light show provided by the Santaland Express train attached to the green building. The huge engine, car, and caboose will twinkle with lights timed to match the music.
Santaland on the other side of the road in Alderson Alumni Park will contain a Christmas tree on the gazebo, a sleigh for taking photos, a toy shop, and much, much more to enchant children of all ages. Santaland and the Santaland Express light show will be open each evening from 5 to 9 p.m.
Also beginning on Friday, Nov. 30, the Alderson Lion’s Club will be selling fresh Christmas trees at the Alderson Visitors Center.
The Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church will hold their annual bazaar on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 2, from noon to 3 p.m. This shopping opportunity has something for everyone including unique craft items, baked goods, and a white elephant room. A silent auction will contain really special items. Lunch of soup, sandwich, drink, and dessert is available both days for $6.
On Saturday, Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 2 from 1 to 4 p.m., a model train show will be held in the Historic 1896 C&O Depot. Fun for all ages, these model trains take on a special magic when exhibited in the newly restored depot.
On Saturday, Dec. 8, it will be all about the fantastic women and men who serve everyone as members of the Alderson Volunteer Fire Department and Emergency Management Services. From 6 to 8 p.m. at the Fire Department, they will offer chili, hot dogs, corn bread, potato soup and more for a donation. At 6:15 and 7 p.m., the Alderson Elementary School Choir will perform. At 6:30 p.m. Santa will arrive and have time for everyone who wishes to visit with him. Family Christmas pictures and packages can be arranged with Tarnished Halo Creations. In addition to the regular “drive under the lights” hosted this evening by the AVFD, visitors can choose to ride under the lights on Alderson’s first fire truck for a donation.
A special farm to table dinner will be offered on Dec. 13 starting at 6 p.m. at The Old Victorian Inn sponsored by Sprouting Farms and Turnrow: Appalachian Farm Collective. The dinner will be a 3-course holiday dinner with appetizers, and wine/drink pairings with the courses. Tickets are $45 and may be obtained by contacting Beth Ryan at email@example.com or 304-573-4242.
The holidays should always include some special, quieter time with family and friends. A Christmas Tea at the Old Victorian Inn on Dec. 16 at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. offers just that opportunity. Slow down, sip tea, listen to music, and enjoy some delectable treats. The lovely Victorian era house and enchanting decorations will sooth the frazzled spirit and take guests back to an earlier, simpler time. Tickets are $10 and are available at Bridgewalk Shops, Alderson’s Store, and the Alderson Artisans Gallery.
The quiet will only last so long and Friday, Dec. 21, will see the Winter Solstice Celebration in Alderson. Shops will be open until 8 p.m. for last minute shopping followed by fireworks over the Greenbrier River. The best vantage point for watching the fireworks show will be standing on the Alderson Memorial Bridge.
The Old Greenbrier Baptist Church will host their annual Christmas Cantata at 3 p.m. Directed by Minister of Music, Dell Wood, and accompanied by Minister of Music, Nancy Wood, voices from though out the community will lift in song to celebrate the reason for the season. A reception afterwards will give everyone the opportunity to exchange season’s greetings with their friends and neighbors.
Alderson Main Street appreciates the contributions of those businesses and individuals who donated funds or in-kind services at the Tree Topper level to support all these activities including the Town of Alderson, Presidio Studios, Rainelle Medical Center, Hugh Harris Insurance, Howe’s Things, Alderson’s Store, and The Old Victorian Inn. They also appreciate Jim Russell, the Alderson Women’s Club, Subway of Alderson, and Mary Knapp Messer for donating at the Santa’s Elf level.
Mayor Travis Copenhaver said, “It is especially heartwarming at this time of year to see so many people and organizations come together to provide all these Christmas activities in Alderson. Please join us and enjoy!”