Holiday staple celebrates 20 years of unifying community

 

The 20th Annual Tree of Love Celebration brought Richmond County officials and residents together over carols and holiday cheer on Dec. 1.

The 20th Annual Tree of Love Celebration brought Richmond County officials and residents together over carols and holiday cheer on Dec. 1.

The first day of December kicked off with Santa Claus resting his reindeer team and flying by helicopter into Warsaw, where he was awaited by smiling Richmond County residents and eager children.

The festivities marched onward with a holiday parade featuring Richmond County’s new pride, the students of the schools’ new JROTC program, and Willie, Phil, Jase and Si riding aboard the popular ‘Duck Dynasty’ float.

But the local celebrations came to a close at nightfall near warm, glowing Christmas lights in the courthouse square as Richmond County residents stood together singing carols around the Tree of Love, remembering their loved ones in the community, both living and deceased, in the spirit of the holidays.

The Tree of Love celebration marked the 20th anniversary of a local tradition that was first begun by Elizabeth O’Bier and carried on by the Richmond County Museum.

The celebration, per tradition, began in the 18th Century courthouse where David Jett, curator of the museum, brought attention to the celebration’s connection to the museum, which had opened 21 years ago during the county’s tradition. He gave thanks to several members, both past and present, who kept the museum going through the years, including Jean Light and Francine Barber.

Rev. Don Bowen, pastor of Cobham Park Baptist Church, told the audience in his Christmas remembrance that, as a child, his Christmases were always simple…

-To read the full story, pick up a copy of the December 4 issue of the Northern Neck News, on stands now!

Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 9:31 am