By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian
Monongah is bringing its hometown Christmas celebration back to life.
During Monday night’s Monongah Town Council meeting, community member Chris Martin said plans are in the works for “Monongah Hometown Christmas.”
The next planning meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, in the Monongah Fire Department’s meeting room.
Martin explained that the Lions Club used to organize Christmas events in town to bring all the kids together, but those festivities stopped years ago. For quite some time, she had been thinking about the idea of reviving Monongah’s Christmas celebration, and she decided this was the year to make it happen.
“Monongah Hometown Christmas” is planned for Dec. 14. This small-scale event will start with a parade at 3 p.m., featuring the North Marion High School band, Santa on a fire truck, 4-H children dressed as elves and more.
Children will be able to enjoy a movie, sing Christmas songs, and write and deliver letters to Santa. Refreshments and cookies will be available, as well as bags of candy for the kids. Other ideas are also in the works, and the volunteers are excited about the possibilities, Martin said.
“It’s to bring the kids in and create memories for them,” she said. “We’ve got a lot of new families in town that have moved in from other locations that don’t have that Monongah connection. We’re going to unite everybody.”
The planning committee appreciates any donations toward these efforts. Interested persons can contact Martin via email email@example.com.
Community member James Closson also came to Monday’s meeting to tell council about his idea of starting a fall pet festival, possibly as a fundraiser, in Monongah around Halloween.
He talked about holding a pet costume contest and a dog race or walk, and giving pet lovers and their animals the chance to mingle with one another. The event could provide opportunities for cat and dog adoptions, as well as discounted vaccinations for pets.
Closson has been in contact with the Marion County Humane Society, veterinarians, pet-related businesses and other vendors in the county and surrounding areas about participating in the festival. He said the event will be great for kids and families in Monongah, Marion County and beyond.
Council members expressed their support for Closson’s idea and offered to help.
Also during the meeting, Charles Sears and Jessica Nicholson, students in the master’s program in social work at West Virginia University, spoke about their intentions to give back to the community.
ears, who is also with the West Virginia National Guard, explained that they chose Monongah for a community-assessment project that they are doing.
They contacted councilman Warren Sloan after hearing about his idea to create a skate park by the river, and they want to see how they can help. They would like to try to incorporate the National Guard, depending on funding, because it often has engineering units interested in getting involved in projects, Sears said.
Sloan said the National Guard has some heavy equipment that could save a lot of money on the project.
In other news:
• Mayor Greg Vandetta announced that the owner of the future Family Dollar store in Monongah closed on the property, and construction should start in two or three weeks. The town is looking forward to the opening of this business, he said.
• Monongah’s trick-or-treat will be held Oct. 31, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
• Council accepted the first reading of an ordinance to amend an ordinance related to property-maintenance codes of the West Virginia state building code.
Email Jessica Borders at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.