Damascus light up nights set for Saturday

DAMASCUS–The annual Light Up Damascus event is scheduled for Saturday, offering a full slate of returning activities as well as a few new ones.

This year’s event will again feature a full day of activities leading up to the tree lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. in the Damascus Friends Church north parking lot, including a community choir directed by Desiree Carrion, a message delivered by Damascus Friends Church Pastor John Ryser and the honoring of distinguished citizens and students.

The event will then move into the church’s sanctuary for a closing message delivered by Damascus United Methodist Church Pastor Vernon Palo at 6 p.m. followed by a performance by West Branch High School’s Young & Alive at 6:15 p.m. Prior to the lighting ceremony there will be a live nativity and performance by West Branch High School Band’s Select Instrumentalists/Brass Ensemble starting at 5 p.m. in the north parking lot.

The lighting ceremony will also feature a memorial tree that will shine throughout the season. Community members may make a $5 donation in memory or honor of a loved one, the proceeds of which assist in continuing the community event. Donation envelops are available at the Damascus churches, Farmers National Bank, post office and True Value Hardware. Names of the loved ones will be printed in the event program. Deadline for donations is Dec. 6.

Information about the event and a full slate of activities can be found on Light Up Damascus’s Facebook page.

Community Events

Now in its seventh year, the event will include for the first time a Christmas Parade Walk at 1:15 p.m. starting at the Damascus Historical Society Pearce House. Santa will follow on a fire truck.

Other new activities include the “Ugly Sweater” and “Looking a Lot Like Christmas” contests at 1 p.m. at the Pearce House, a hot chocolate bar with various toppings from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Pearce House and live vocal music by community and youth choirs, including the Damascus Friends Church preschool singers, at 4:30 p.m. in the church sanctuary.

The day kicks off with the Damascus Community Park’s Breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. at Damascus Friends Church featuring pancakes, local syrup, strawberries, sausage and juice, with eggs for the early birds. Damascus Hardware will offer sales, refreshments and special ornaments from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Heath’s Barbershop will offer beverages and $8 haircuts from 7 a.m. to noon; Station 42 will offer donuts, coffee, juice and $5 haircuts for kids from 8 to 11 a.m.; Dragonfly Spa & Salon will offer punch and cookies, $2 clip in colored extension of three for $5, $5 eyebrow waxing, $5 regular polish and $10 gel polish from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; G’s Pizza World Pizza will be selling pizza by the slice from 3 to 10 p.m.; and the Barnwood Trading Company will offer refreshments and sale items from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Damascus United Methodist Church will host its annual Home and Craft Show from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a cookie walk and lunch counter open to the public. There will also be Hot Pots ornament painting (paint free ornament on site, with finished product available at Tim Barnes Insurance) and a photo booth with props.

The Pearce House will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with the opportunity to design a gingerbread house and drawings to enter, in addition to the hot chocolate bar.

For the “Ugly Sweater” contest, participants are encouraged to wear their “ugly sweater” to the Pearce House for judging at 1 p.m. and the parade at 1:15 p.m. The “Looking a Lot Like Christmas” contest also encourages participants to wear their most festive clothing to the Pearce House for judging at 1 p.m. and the parade at 1:15 p.m.

Community members can also bring Christmas LEGO/DUPLO creations to the Damascus Friends Church Sanctuary by 3 p.m. for judging. Projects must be labeled with contact information.

Damascus Friends Church

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Cafe, the Damascus Elementary DW3 after school STEM program will present hands-on demonstrations.

Stephanie’s Beauty House will offer cookies, face painting, and hair decorating from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the lobby and Robbie Chapman will present wooden craft ornaments with buttons, paint and markers in the The Sewing Room during the same time.

Joyful Gym will be held from 1:30 to 5 p.m. including inflatables, scooters, parachute, games and Christmas karaoke. There will also be dancing with DJ Chip Highley at 2 p.m. and balloon sculpting with Mrs. Everhart from 3 to 4 p.m.

From 1:30 to 5 p.m. in the lobby area and atrium, there will be caricature drawings with Abby Kash, Music in the Air from accordionist David Denny, Pathway’s investing in children, Auburn Skilled Nursing & Rehab’s make it and take it craft, Damascus Garden Club’s pinecone ornament creations, Stampettes make and take greeting cards, Homeworth Lions Club’s eye screening for children, Damascus Ruritan Club’s display celebrating 65 years in the community and Salem Regional Medical Center’s blood pressure screening.

After 1:15 p.m. Santa will arrive by fire truck. Non-perishable items will be collected, with one item counting for one ticket in the “Big Stocking” drawing.

This year’s sponsors include Sarchione Auto Group, Damascus Ruritans, Tim Barnes Insurance, Farmers National Bank (Damascus) and Auburn Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation.