HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) — The Christmas season officially began Tuesday in Huntington with the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree at the Mountain Health Arena Plaza.
The ceremony featured caroling and dancing from local youth groups after it was canceled last year due to COVID-19.
Huntington Mayor Steve Williams and his wife did the countdown to the Christmas tree lighting, but the stars of the night were the many dancers and singers from the Huntington community who worked hard months beforehand to create Tuesday’s special Christmas performances.
The return of the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Huntington was a chance to get the community back together again, and also let the city’s local talent shine.
First, the renaissance choir Collegium Musicum made up of Cabell Midland High School students serenaded the audience in Latin and took people back to the middle ages with their songs and period costumes.
“We’re Cabell Midland and we’re the Knights and it’s kind of medieval based, our choir is renaissance based,” said Madeline Nutt with the choir who says their costumes are picked out from a book of patterns their instructor has and are custom made and all velvet.
Dancers from the Huntington Dance Theater performed a dance from The Nutcracker, while child dancers with Bridget’s Dance Academy danced a Christmas song in green sequined outfits.
Bridget’s Dance Academy Rockettes who dance competitively then brought New York City pizzazz.
“I was in the very original BDA Rocketts since I was 14-years-old, so that was about six years ago, but this is our sixth year doing it so we just pull inspiration from the Rockettes and hope that Huntington can get a bit of that New York City Rockettes experience,” said competitive dancer Trinity Tiffany.
Lesley Shumaker, the mother of one of the Bridget Dance Academy child dancers says it’s important to involve the kids in the community like this.
“So that everyone in the community can see them and see the hard work they put in each week when they go to class, and all of the skills that they developed, they’re able to show that off and let everyone in the community see what they worked so hard on.”
The Christmas tree can be seen at 1 Center Plaza in Huntington.