Weston launches bicentennial with New Year’s bonfire

Many local residents braved single-digit temperatures to attend Weston’s Bicentennial kick-off event on New Year’s Eve at the Weston Fire Department (WFD).
The Weston Fairs and Festivals Committee hosted the event, which was originally slated to include a bonfire on the banks of the West Fork River and a fireworks display on the lawn of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, but those plans had to be scrapped due to the frigid temperatures.
Mayor Julia Spelsberg spoke at the opening of the event and offered her appreciation to the fire department and Chief Kenny James for the assistance with changing the venue, and use of the building in planning.  
Spelsberg also praised the Fairs and Festivals Committee for over one year of work on planning the city’s Bicentennial festivities for the year.   
“Our goal is to make this a really memorable event for our wonderful little town,”  Spelsberg said
She went on say that a story she recently saw on social media inspired her personal New Year’s resolution to be a kinder person.   The story was about two college-aged roommates who resolved to do one act of kindness a day for an entire year.  
“There are things that we can be proud of,” Spelsberg said pointing out that the planning commission had be honored by the West Virginia University School of Law.  
Spelsberg also acknowledges the struggles that Weston faces.
“I wish downtown was thriving.  It’s not,”  she said. “We have a lot of work to do.”  
The event also featured coffee and hot chocolate provided by representatives from The Law Office of Trena Williams, The Williams Family Medical Practice, Cunningham Powell Alexander, A.C., and Silver Mist Stables.  Cookies were provided by the Weston Church of God.  
Excerpts from various histories of Weston were read by City Finance Manager Dodie Arbogast, Councilman Eric Dever, and Fairs and others providing those in attendance with a brief overview of the town’s history.  Local Historian Bruce Adler also showed off the final proof of the calendar that the committee had put together featuring rare historical pictures and dates.  
Marian and Joe Jarrell provided the fire pit for the cooking of s’mores, and the burning of small pieces of wood upon which the attendees had written their negative things from 2017.  
Spelsberg said the tradition was based upon an Italian tradition that allows people to burn up all their cares of the previous year and start the new year with a fresh slate. 

© 2018-The Weston Democrat

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