Mayor Joetta Hatfield Delivers a Bigger and Better Tree Lighting Ceremony
Lead by Mayor Joetta Hatfield, the town of Fort Gay celebrated their 11th annual tree lighting ceremony on Sunday, December 3, 2023. The old high school lawn was lit up with Christmas decorations, inflatables, trees, and more. The Christmas lights could be seen all over town, and the Christmas spirit was also on display by everyone there.
The main Christmas tree, located in the center of the lawn, was reserved for community members who wanted to place an ornament on the tree in memory of a lost loved one. The names of these were later read off and broadcast on WFGH Radio. Christmas music played in the background, and kids of all ages could be seen dancing and having a great time. As for the big man himself, Santa arrived in style with the help of the Fort Gay Fire Department.
Mayor Hatfield stated that this was the biggest turn out that she has seen in seven years. She said she had no idea on the exact number of people who attended the tree lighting ceremony but was told by others that there were close to 500.
As for the lights and displays, these are the most lights and displays that the town has had on the school lawn in the past seven years. Mayor Hatfield credited Fred Damron and the WFGH Radio for playing a big role in the event, not only with the announcing and broadcasting and media promotion, but with all the equipment and electrical set up that was involved.
Several people came out and helped to decorate the lawn at different times the past week, both day and night. Appalachian Outreach and Ray of Hope donated toys for Santa to give out to all the children. Tolsia’s boys’ basketball team and the Coach Brian Stacy, and Tolsia Cheerleaders with coach Krystal Keene also brought toys and helped Santa pass them out. Tolsia’s Prostart Classes and their teacher, Tara Crabtree, volunteered to wrap all the toys for the event. The Wayne County Republican Executive Committee provided and served hot cocoa to everyone. Also, Sheila Bowen, the town recorder, worked tirelessly to help see this event through.
Mayor Hatfield would like to thank everyone that helped in any way to pull this event off. She would also like to thank the community for coming out. She said, “Every year I’ve tried to do it up bigger and better, and I think we’ve knocked it out of the park this year! I couldn’t be more please with how everything turned out!” She wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas!