A full holiday calendar

Published 7:26 pm Tuesday, November 14, 2017

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Gift shops have already held open house to show off their wares, decorations have gone up along Main and Church Streets and, so, the mad rush to Christmas has begun.

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It’s not official yet, however. We still have the good grace not to supersede Thanksgiving in any organized way. Thus far, it’s just about selling the idea and the goods that will make it yet another gift-laden Christmas morning.

But once Thanksgiving is out of the way, Smithfield will do all in its power to keep you busy right up until Christmas. Here’s a sample of what’s in store.

The town officially launches the season with the Woman’s Club of Smithfield annual Christmas Tree lighting. That will take place in front of The Smithfield Times on the lot euphemistically known as Times Square. That will take place Friday, Dec. 1 at 5:30 p.m.

And that traditional event will pave the way for Christmas in Smithfield, a weekend of activities organized by volunteers to raise funds that benefit the Colonial Courthouse, a priceless piece of the town and county’s history.

The focal point of the weekend is a two-day antiques show and sale at The Smithfield Center. That event has a reputation as being one of the better antiques shows in the commonwealth, and attracts dealers from throughout Virginia and neighboring states.

Last year’s weekend included a popular house tour. House tours require a huge number of volunteers and are difficult to repeat annually, so this year the weekend will offer alternatives that include floral workshops on the Colonial Courthouse grounds, carriage tours around the Historic District and a puppet show inside the Colonial Courthouse.

The Farmers Market Christmas craft and food market will be held Saturday, Dec. 2 as part of the weekend activities.

Historic St. Luke’s Church will participate in the weekend with a colonial Christmas concert. The performance will be held twice on Saturday.

But the Christmas in Smithfield weekend is just the beginning. The Smithfield Farmers Market’s Christmas market will be staged on Main Street on the evening of Friday, Dec. 8.

And Smithfield’s most popular Christmas event, the annual Christmas Parade, will be Saturday, Dec. 9, as will the Kiwanis Club’s annual Breakfast with Santa.

Lights out

Days are short in December, and a number of in-town activities occur after sunset. Here’s hoping Dominion Power keeps the lights on for us. The giant utility has had some difficulty doing so recently.

The town of Smithfield owns the streetlights on Main Street, so when one or more doesn’t function, you can report it to the town, which is responsible for keeping them burning. Not so on Church Street. When the town beautified that street, Dominion Power installed its reproduction street lamps and the town pays Dominion to maintain the lights, much like a private business would.

Thus, when the lights go out on Church Street, you can call the town, but about all the town can only call Dominion. And recently, that hasn’t worked too well. A five-light circuit that lights the sidewalk from Main Street to Cedar Street, were out more than they on for weeks. Dominion managed to get the streetlights working again for a while then, last week, they went out again.

Here’s hoping that, by the time this is published, the Church Street lights are working again, and that Dominion can manage to keep them working. Being out at night during the holidays is quite pleasant, but trying to negotiate a sidewalk without the aid of streetlights isn’t.