By Erik Pekar, Town Historian
Granville’s annual tree-lighting event in Veterans Memorial Park was held last Friday, Dec. 4. This ceremony usually attracts hundreds of people from the area and beyond to witness the lighting and attend events at the park, as well as concurrently occurring First Friday events at the Pember Library and Museum and the Slate Valley Museum.
Due to circumstances stemming from the pandemic, there was no ceremony, nor any events, where crowds could attend. The ceremony was instead held as a virtual event, with no attendance by crowds. Nevertheless, Santa Claus still visited Granville, and a small parade followed, starting at Veterans Memorial Park and going around the loop of West Main Street, up Main Street, Church Street down to the traffic lights just south of the village, then up Quaker Street back to Veterans Park.
A video feed of the event was live streamed on the Sentinel’s Facebook page, and saved afterwards. By the night’s end, the video of the ceremony had received more than 2,000 views. Many thanks go out to all those who planned and participated in the executing of this year’s virtual tree lighting ceremony, as well as those who volunteered many hours of time to decorating Veterans Memorial Park.
The Christmas holiday decorations have entered another foray this year. Christmas displays have been placed in several of the Main Street storefronts. Two of these displays, in the former TD Bank building and the brick corner building at Main and Church Streets, were installed under the auspices of the village volunteers and provided by the Christmas lighting fund.
There are other decorated storefronts as well. The 26 Main Building has been decorated with several Christmas trees. Shaw’s Antiques has Christmas decorations in their window. Slate Town Brewery has Christmas lights hanging in their window, as do the 2nd Time Around store and Joel Carpenter’s accounting office. On the Rocks Pub has a Christmas tree. New Creation Church has a nativity scene. The Granville Post Office has several decorations on the garden space in front of the building.
The storefront displays nicely augment the other Christmas holiday decorations of Granville’s Main Street, including the building outline lights, Christmas trees, and decorations on the streetlight poles.
Outside of the village, Chapman’s store in Middle Granville is decorated with Christmas lights around the front windows.
An idea suggested occasionally over the past several years is making progress. The Granville Post 323, American Legion, and the Falvey-Fringi Post 1653, V.F.W., are working together on a project that would result in banners being made and hung on street poles honoring Granville’s veterans. A meeting will be held concerning the veterans’ banners on Dec. 19 at 2 p.m. at the Legion Hall on Columbus Street. The banners will honor local veterans, living or deceased, who have served in any conflict or war. Both veterans’ organizations will be there, as well as Charlie King of the King Funeral Home. The meeting is not limited to members of the organizations; all who are interested can attend. Many other towns have done veterans banners in recent years. Granville has had many of its own serve in these conflicts. Hopefully, Granville will soon join these towns in honoring our veterans with veterans’ banners.
At Morse’s Diner and Pizzeria, the outside dining area has been repurposed, keeping in spirit with the Christmas holiday season. A new fence was installed on Nov. 11, along the Main Street sidewalk. Within a few days, Christmas wreaths were hung on the fence. A Christmas tree was sought out and installed in the outdoor space on Nov. 21. The tree was donated by Lauren Martindale. The lights were donated by Lori Woodard-Hoyt and the decorating work done by a couple of members of the village volunteer lighting group. On Nov. 27, two memorial plaques were placed on the fence in front of the tree. One dedicated the tree in memory of Angelo Scott Jr., “Scottie”, who owned the longtime Granville business of Scotties, which was in the building Morse’s now occupies. The other plaque memorialized the tree’s lights as having been donated in memory of Invasia “Dee” Woodard Bergeron by her family.