Ashland transforming town into live holiday greeting card

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Some people think you shouldn’t put up your holiday lights until at least Thanksgiving. In Ashland, they’ve been decorating since Halloween.

“Ashland has a population of 7,300 and I think every one of them has made a positive remark about this project,” says Dan Bartges, a board member of the Ashland Main Street Association.

He explains that this holiday season, Ashland is transforming a one-mile stretch along the railroad tracks that cuts through the center of town.

There’s a 22-foot living tree that was festively decorated by school kids and approximately 60,000 twinkling lights. The concept is to create something memorable for the people just passing through.

“We’re going to decorate it like a live holiday greeting card for all the Amtrak travelers and all the crew on CSX freight trains,” Bartges said.

The first train rolled through Ashland 179 years ago. So this year they’re celebrating that history with “Light Up the Tracks.”

Wendy Doyle, who lives along that one-mile stretch, says, “I’m hoping they’ll see the small town community spirit and the way we all come together through different activities.”

Another homeowner on board with the idea is Bonna Lewis.

“It’s a community effort. You go down the street and its all community,” she said.

Don’t look for the lights just yet; they’ll start glowing on December 5th at 5:30 p.m. at the Ashland Grand Illumination.

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