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2014 Holiday Festivities in Clifton Forge

For Immediate Release

On November 21st at 5:30 PM we will begin our community celebrations in Clifton Forge with an official lighting of the Town Christmas Tree.  The Clifton Middle School Choristers, under the direction of Kathy Crutchfield, will present their holiday program and the Selma Epworth Methodist Church Children’s Bell Choir, under the direction of Tonya Wrenn and Charlotte Taylor, will play Holiday Selections. The tree lighting will take place at 5:30 PM at the Town Hall. In addition to music, warm cider and cookies will be served during the ceremony.  Please call Clifton Forge Main Street (540) 862-2000 for additional information about the tree lighting.

On Friday, November 21st and Saturday November 22nd, Clifton Forge School of the Arts will host a German style KrisKindleMarkt in The Mill at the school.  Hours for the Market are 3PM to 8PM and Saturday, Nov. 22 – 10 am to 6 pm.  Raffles (artisan goods) will be available throughout the two days. Authentic German two- and three-course dinners will be served on Friday evening.  Featured at the market will be the works of area artisans offering lots of Christmas gift buying including everything from food, toy gifts, Christmas wreaths and trees, to “CLIFTON FORGE” gifts and lots in between.  For more information about the KrisKindlMarkt, please call the school at (540) 862-7275.

On Friday evening December 5th at 6:30 PM Clifton Forge Main Street, Inc. invites you to be a participant or a spectator in our 2014 “Oh Christmas Tree” Christmas Parade.  As in past years, the parade will begin at the intersection of Ridgeway and Roxbury Streets and continue down Ridgeway Street through the historic district to the Clifton Forge Fire Station on D Street.  Mott Atherholt, President of Clifton Forge Main Street, Inc. is very pleased to announce that in keeping with this year’s theme, a special award will be presented to the float whose decorations best exemplify the “Oh Christmas Tree”  theme.

On December 6, 2014 the public is invited to the sixth annual Clifton Forge Woman’s Club Holiday Home Tour. The tour has been expanded this year to present a Daylight and Twilight Tour with eleven locations feature in festive decorating to spur the imagination.  The Daylight Tour is from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM and the Twilight Tour is from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.  Refreshments will be available free of charge to tour ticket holders. Tickets  ($15.00) to tour the homes are available at the following venues: any Woman’s Club member, Club Car, Owen’s Pharmacy, Country Garden Florist, AH Arts & Crafts Center, The Tea Room, Old Forge Coffee Co, Vintage Bouquet, Main Street Shoppe & AH Chamber Office. The funds raised from this event are used to support various community projects throughout the year.

On December 12th 7PM and 14th, 2:00 PM matinee, Masonic Theatre Productions presents “A Sanders Family Christmas”. The sequel to Smoke on the Mountain, Sanders Family Christmas is a comedy with music which takes place in 1941 in Mt Pleasant Baptist Church in Mt Pleasant NC. Using the audience as its congregation, the play presents a gospel sing, and uses 28 standard Christmas carols and gospel songs.

The play takes place in the sanctuary of the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant, NC, located just west of Hickory near the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is Wednesday night, December 24, 1941, 18 days after Pearl Harbor and FDR’s declaration of war. Though the war machine had been gaining momentum in the US for several years, the direct involvement in battle at Christmastime has brought family members from far and wide for what might be their last holiday together.This play, features local actors and actresses in a delightful production and will be presented at Clifton Forge Middle School.  Tickets are $5.00 each or $20.00 for a Family of two adults and three or more children.  Tickets are available at Club Car, The Tea Room, Jack Mason’s Tavern, Vintage Bouquet, and AH Chamber Office.  Please visit www.historicmasonictheatre.com.  for further details.

Throughout the holiday season Clifton Forge Main Street, Inc. invites you to stroll through our Historic Downtown Business district where, in keeping with our “Oh Christmas Tree” parade theme, we will be featuring more than 30 individually decorated and illuminated Christmas trees created by Mountain View Elementary School students and Sharon Elementary School students.  “The Doors of Clifton Forge” will also be on display throughout the Historic District. Businesses will each have a personally decorated wreath hanging on the front door of their business. We know you will enjoy viewing all of these very unique Holiday decorations while browsing through the shops, and please, don’t forget to SHOP LOCAL. See you there.

Clifton Forge Main Street, Inc. is a non-profit organization working to improve the historic downtown of Clifton Forge for economic and cultural reasons. It is affiliated with the Virginia Main Street Program, a division of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.  In 1992 a group of local volunteers  came together to create an entity that, with the support of the town, could obtain the technical assistance of Virginia Main Street toward preservation and enhancement of the downtown area. This effort has produced good results and has revealed many needs yet to be met…

Small towns are unique. They’re initially defined by geography, like the mountain ridges that surround Clifton Forge. They are also defined by the industry that helps the town to grow. Since the turn of the century Clifton Forge has been a major player in the development and growth of the C&O and the CSX railroads. Train tracks snake their way through town and connect Clifton Forge to big cities. Many have ridden the rails to faraway places to get an education, find love and fight wars.

For many years the town and the railroad both grew and prospered. Through those good times the people of Clifton Forge built homes, raised families and they built churches – lots of churches. And they were a patriotic bunch – still are. The local community college is home to a detachment of the 116th Infantry of the VA National Guard. Most recently they’ve completed missions in Kosovo and in Iraq, a broad calling for citizen-soldiers.

When the railroad slowed down in the mid-60’s, many workers lost their jobs and the City of Clifton Forge suffered like many small towns that rely on a single industry. The city became a town a few years ago just as the C&O Heritage Center was getting started. Today it’s the history of the C&O that is helping fuel the re-birth of the town. New businesses are springing up, there are major infrastructure renovations underway and it’s getting harder to find parking in the  three block-long downtown area. Those who return to town for reunions, marriages and funerals just can’t get over how good things look. The number of folks retiring to the area or investing in second homes is a good measure of the hope and trust they have in the future of Clifton Forge.

There’s lots more that needs to be done but small towns like Clifton Forge tend to be built on solid cultural foundations: God, family, patriotism and a belief that hard work – and working together – will make a difference.
Chuck Almarez, Fire and Light Gallery, 2012

The Clifton Forge of the future is once again “scenic, busy, friendly!” Come visit historic Clifton Forge!

Clifton Forge Main Street

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