Local youth invited to help decorate Clark County Christmas Tree

Published 11:36 am Friday, December 1, 2023

On Saturday, Dec. 2nd, the annual Christmas parade comes through Winchester again.

Fortunately, an additional festive opportunity presents itself.

Most likely to be located just to the left of the Clark County Court House if looking from across the street, a table with various ornaments available will be set up to help decorate the town’s Christmas tree.

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“We want to make sure the kids are involved in some way,” said Patti Columbia, who helped organize the opportunity.

At last year’s Christmas Parade, hundreds were present from Winchester and surrounding counties as multiple organizations and businesses drove trucks, cars, floats and even horses along Main Street.

As mentioned, several in the community wanted to ensure children had something to do as the event occurred.

The ornaments will be red and white, in association with the colors of the George Rogers Clark High School Cardinals mascot and other surrounding schools.

Students can also personalize their ornament.

“We’re going to have a table set up with all these ornaments and the pens for them to [write] something on it,” Columbia added. “[It] can be whatever they want, whether it be their name, their initials, or something they want from Santa.”

One day later, the ornaments will be hung on the tree from their strand and wrapped around it from top to bottom.

Not only is the activity engaging, but it’s also in line with the holiday spirit.

“Everybody loves Christmas!,” Columbia added.

The tree will be decorated in other ways, too.

Christmas lights will also be present.

Columbia credits several individuals – including Clark County Judge-Executive Les Yates – for playing a vital role.

With both the Lowe’s and Walmart stores on Bypass Road providing $150, Yates met with Columbia to purchase lights, ensuring they would be effective for the presentation.

With two different sets of thousands – allowing one set to remain lit in the unlikely though possible event that one set goes out – hopes are high for the lights to shine.

Yet, lights and ornaments aren’t all.

Hudsen Bishop, a senior at George Rogers Clark High School, has shown expertise in making tobacco stick stars, which are formed by taking multiple tobacco sticks of equal length, laying them out in a star pattern, and fastening each together.

Such expertise has been incorporated into this year’s tree.

“Lots of people buy them, and he’s done a fantastic job with them over the last few years,” Columbia said. “He made us one, and we wrapped it with lights, and it’ll go on the top.”

The Christmas tree, chosen with help from the Clark County Road Department, is a highlight during the holidays.

Ornaments, lights and more further add to its appeal.

“I just really want it to be pretty for the kids,” Columbia added. “I always thought that our tree should be one of the biggest focuses for our county because there’s a lot of help every year.”