Merchants in on WJs Gazeboo, too

Halloween and Christmas, as well as an opportunity to leave lasting markers at historical sites, topped the agenda at the West Jefferson Business Council’s Oct. 4 meeting. Eighteen representatives of the business community and village government attended the monthly meeting.

Village councilwoman Sheila Nelson said plans are coming along well for the village’s Halloween celebration, “Gazeboo,’’ to be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 25 in downtown West Jefferson.

Librarians and volunteers from Hurt-Battelle Memorial Library will share ghost stories with all listeners at the village’s gazebo on Main Street. Stories suitable for families with young children will be offered from 5 to 6 p.m.; stories suitable for older children and adults will be told in a spookier style from 8 to 9 p.m.

Gazeboo participants are encouraged to dress in costume as a photographer will be on hand to take pictures. Photos in holographic form will be available for purchase.

At 6:30 p.m., an area resident will lead an informal clinic on how to make eye-catching Halloween costumes for little money. He plans to pull volunteers from the audience to use as models. Refreshments and treats will be served throughout the evening.

Nelson said Gazeboo will incorporate local businesses, as well. Everyone who attends the event will receive “Boo Bucks’’ for discounts and special offers from participating merchants. As of Oct. 4, the participating merchants included Ann & Tony’s  Restaurant, Subway, Bambino’s, Mike’s Pizza and D’Liteful Designs. Nelson said more businesses may be added to the list as more information about Gazeboo gets out into the community.

Christmas in the Park
Jeff Pfeil, representing the West Jefferson Community Association, told business council members that West Jefferson’s annual Christmas in the Park is “still a go” for Dec. 12-14, even though September’s wind storm took down a few trees in Garrette Park.

“We’re still looking for some more sponsors for the event to help sponsor carriage rides, and we already have some groups who want to sponsor the decorating of individual trees in the park,’’ Pfeil said, adding that more sponsors for individual trees are welcome.

“Scout troops, 4-H groups, churches or individuals can sponsor a tree, and the name of the sponsoring group will be attached to the tree.”

The Christmas in the Park committee hopes to find holiday caroling groups to sing for 20 to 30 minutes during the event.

“We’re thinking that having strolling carolers perform throughout the park is better than having carolers just standing on a stage in one part of the park,’’ Pfeil said.

He added that the annual event has started to draw viewers from all over Ohio due to its uniqueness and hometown flavor.

“Each year, we keep seeing more and more people coming to the area just to see and be part of this event, and it is a big plus for our business community, not just for the event committee,’’ he said.

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Historical Marker
Ray Martin, a business council member and local representative of the Ohio National Road Association (ONRA), said the association is looking for sponsors to erect permanent signs at historical sites along a 10-county area in Ohio where U.S. Route 40 runs.

“These signs will cost about $3,000 each, and we’re looking for sponsors to help us fund them. Right now we are hoping to purchase a sign for the Red Brick Tavern and the Timber Run Grange. If we can get this done, then we are open to suggestions for other historical sites in the county along the National Road where a marker should be placed,’’ Martin said.

Anyone who wants to help sponsor permanent markers or knows of other historical sites that should be marked can call Martin at 614-560-5754.

Community/Recreation Center
In other business, Bob Harper was part of a three-person contingent from West Jefferson that traveled to Mount Sterling on Oct. 6 to find out how that community built its new community center through donated funds.

Sean Hughes, executive director of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce, said the Mount Sterling Community Center is impressive and used for a wide variety of youth and adult activities.

Harper will report his findings at the next West Jefferson Business Council meeting, which is set for 9 a.m. Nov. 8 at Hurt-Battelle Memorial Library.

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