All are invited to Light Up Alexandria, which runs Friday and Saturday, December 6 and 7. (photo: Creative Commons).
By Robin Gee, City Council Beat Editor
Light Up Alexandria led the topics discussed at the November 21 meeting of Alexandria City Council. Residents can get in on all the city decorating fun at the event, which is hosted by Alexandria businesses.
In all, 35 businesses are participating. Businesses have signs in their windows if they are a part of the event, which will be held Friday, December 6, until 9 p.m. and Saturday, December 7, until 5 p.m.
Although there are quite a few participating businesses, some have teamed up together so there are not as many stops. Children will also receive stockings to help them carry some of the goodies businesses will be giving out during the event.
The event kicks off at the annual tree lighting ceremony at the city building. Children can pick up their stockings at the tree lighting (or there will be some later at the participating businesses). Santa will be on hand for the lighting festivities as well.
Community decorating fun
Another part of the Light Up Alexandria fun is all the homes that will be decorated for the season throughout Alexandria. Homeowners are encouraged to get their lights up for the event on Dec. 6, said council member Sue Neltner, chair of the city's Beautification Committee.
Nelter and her fellow committee members have been busy this fall. In November, a family who only recently moved into their new home, received the Fall/Halloween decoration award. Craig and Sarah Fox had only been in their home at 158 Lake Park Drive for about two months but went all out for spooky decorations including a large menacing spider on the roof!
|That is one creepy spider stopping by the Fox's home in Alexandria for Halloween.|
The December holiday home decorating contest is underway, said Neltner. Nominations are due by December 13, and the winner will be announced the first week of January.
Another event of the season is the Giving Tree hosted by the Alexandria Police Department. The department has adopted a family in our community who could use some help this holiday. The Bridge Community Church helped the department select a mom and her three kids who have been struggling to make ends meet. The giving tree is set up in the Community Center with tags. Take a tag from the tree, purchase a gift and bring it to the center or the police department by December 20.
Highlighting Alexandria businesses and organizations
Starting this fall, Mayor Andy Schabell and council members invited any businesses or organizations in the community to address council to talk about what they do. Since that call, two area businesses and one area nonprofit have been highlighted.
A new business in Alexandria, Morning Star Ceramics, located at 8131 Alexandria Pike, addressed council in October. Owner Rhonda Sue Deaton said the business offers customers the opportunity to paint their own ceramics made from molds that are then fired to create unique gifts and decorative items.
Deaton also owns a ceramic mold production facility in Falmouth, the only company specializing in functional molds, she said. The company has contracts around the word and employs 12 sculptors to design the molds.
Council heard from another new business, Dollhouse Beauty Salon, located at 8370 East Main Street. Owners Michael McGrath and Amanda Chilelli said they took over their building last spring and did extensive rehabilitation work to the inside. The salon offers styling but also eyelash extensions, makeup for special events, microblading for eyebrows, exfoliation, massages, facials and a host of other salon beauty services.
Also addressing council in November was the nonprofit animal rescue service, Frankie’s Furry Friends. Kathy Thacker and Maria Shanks said their organization is devoted to the rescue, fostering and placement of small-breed dogs.
Frankie, the organization’s dog ambassador, passed away six years ago and the representatives introduced Dolly, the newest ambassador for the program. She is a therapy dog who often visits area senior centers and other facilities.
This year the group began a community outreach program helping to provide for the pet needs of people who are unable to afford their pets’ care. Frankie’s Furry Friends also started a hospice service for elderly dogs whose owner might be deceased or hospitalized and no longer able to care for them.
Council members reminded those present that the holiday season is a great time to shop local and support these and other area businesses and community organizations.