WEIRTON — The snow began to fall and the holiday spirit filled the air.
Area residents gathered at the corner of Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in Weirton Sunday night to watch as the official community Christmas tree began to glow and fireworks filled the night sky.
Mayor Harold Miller welcomed the crowd to the Weirton Light Up Night, noting it was the second year for the renewed community tradition.
Miller explained Weirton had a community Christmas tree for more than 40 years, but the practice went by the wayside in the 1990s. It was brought back last year.
“We got more comments for the tree than we ever did for paving the streets or fixing water lines,”Miller said.
unday’s event was organized by the Renaissance Weirton Committee, and included the tree lighting, decorations, refreshments and a fireworks display.
Entertainment was provided by the Cove Chimers bell choir from Cove Presbyterian Church, and the Provenzano family, who performed several Christmas songs.
CHOIR PERFORMS — The Cove Chimers bell choir from Cove Presbyterian Church performed for the gathered crowd Sunday as part of the Weirton Light Up Night festivities. -- Craig Howell
This year’s tree has been donated by Iannetti’s Garden Center, and dedicated in memory of Nick Iannetti, who died in October.
“The Iannetti family has always been a part of Weirton,” Miller said, adding that Nick Iannetti took pride in the city and contributed wherever he could.
Miller took a moment to express his appreciation to those who stepped up to support the Weirton Light Up Night.
The fireworks display was made possible through the sponsorship of the Thrasher Group, Assure America, Nick’s Auto Sales and Guida Law Offices.
The tree is located on property owned by ArcelorMittal, next to the company’s offices.
Other supporters include the Law Offices of Dittmar, Taylor and Makricostas, Gurrera Law Offices, Granato’s Deli, First Choice America Community Federal Credit Union, Bubba’s Wings, Councilman Tim Connell and Chris Connell, Mary Jo Ross and Herb Ross, Fran Sullivan and Pat Nosko.
The evening also featured the first distribution of a new commemorative Weirton Christmas ornament, in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the city’s incorporation and featuring the flags of many of the nationalities represented by the residents of the city.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)