The Central Virginian

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Lake tree lighting ceremony canceled

Posted on Friday, November 22, 2013 at 9:00 am

A much anticipated Christmas tradition won’t be happening this year. The grinch didn’t steal it, but it certainly will have some people grumpy.

The 2013 Lake is Great Christmas Tree Lighting ceremonies have been canceled. This would have been the event’s third year of existence.

“It boiled down to the timing it takes to do it, and we didn’t have it,” the event’s coordinator, Ed Blount said.

The event had been a huge draw for residents in the past two years. Held at the Lake is Great store property near the Route 208 Bridge, the tree lighting featured stations for kids to see Santa and make ornaments, while also provided music and food for adults. The inaugural event drew nearly 800 attendants, and last year’s attendance was 1,200.

But in with those numbers lies the problem. County laws require that non-profit public gatherings by businesses to have a capacity of no more than 500 people, a fact that Blount and others involved with the event were unaware of until recently.

Blount said that the time it would have taken to file the paperwork for the event, which would have included getting signatures from nearby property owners for approval, simply wasn’t available. Though Blount said county officials were willing to work in accordance with the event to make it happen, his schedule simply didn’t allow it.

“It’s not the county’s fault. I think they were trying to expedite [the process] for us, but I just didn’t feel like I could get through all the land owners in time,” Blount said.

To read the entire story, see the Nov. 21 edition of The Central Virginian.