Santa Claus is coming ... to Smithfield

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By Jonna Spelbring Priester

General Manager

Though the details aren’t yet finalized, the Smithfield City Council is closer to making its Christmas celebration a reality.

City Commission member Saundra Smith said she’s, quite literally, been checking her list twice. Music still needs to purchased, and the large Christmas decorations hung, and of course, she hopes to pick up more garland and another wreath. Smith said Kennedy Landscaping will donate a live tree.

The council ironed out a possible date for the event, which they initially thought might be held on a week night. Instead, the commission voted to piggy back the event with Breakfast with Santa at Our Best. Two events with Santa in the small town, they said, might be too much.

“That doesn’t sound like it’s going to work out,” Smith said “We’re working in conjunction with Our Best and their Breakfast with Santa, and us beefing their event up.”

Smith proposed live music on Our Best’s porch, and commissioner Les Bryant said Saturday morning probably would work best to improve attendance.

Smithfield Mayor Kenny Baker asked how long it had been since the city actually did anything for Christmas, and Bryant said there was a Christmas decorating contest years ago.

The decorating contest will return this year, with prizes for the first, second and third place winners. The contest will be judged on Nov. 20.

In other business:

• The council voted to give the new addition to the existing city park the same name, and to dedicate it to Robert Morgan. “I can’t think of a more appropriate name than Robert Morgan,” Smith said. “He is our best known, probably one of the few, World War II (prisoners of war) still living.”

Baker said the Morgan had “done for the city beyond himself.”

The former owners of the land also will be recognized via a placque.

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