Monday, January 30, 2023

Experience Toano for the holiday season like never before

The Toano Historical Society is celebrating the holiday season with its first Christmas Tree Lighting Event on Nov. 30. (WYDaily/Courtesy Jack Wray)
The Toano Historical Society is celebrating the holiday season with its first Christmas Tree Lighting Event on Nov. 30. (WYDaily/Courtesy Jack Wray)

Downtown Toano is going to be lit this Christmas season.

The Toano Historical Society will host a Christmas Tree Lighting Event for the first time in Toano from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 30, said Jack Wray, president of the Toano Historical Society, in an email.

The event will take place on the city block where there were four blighted buildings that were demolished in September. 

During the event, there will be a 45-foot tall Evergreen tree in the center of the property that will be strewn with festive lights that have been donated to the Toano Historical Society.

There will also be t-shirts, hats, special commemorative Christmas ornaments and baked goods for sale from the Toano Historical Society.

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The lights will be donated by S4 Lighting, a nationwide lighting supplier, which has a location in the Stonehouse Commerce Park in Toano. 

When Crais Batten, president of S4 Lighting, heard about the historical society’s plans for the event, he reached out and not only donated lights that can be reused, but also planned a lighting arrangement for three historic buildings across the street, organizers said.

In addition, Mike Polsinelli, owner of Colt Power and Technology, will donate his time to set up temporary power on the site and Cecil Lyon, a local tree surgeon, will donate his lift and time to help string the lights on the tree.

The event will also feature decorative lights on Santa’s tent, a Volkswagen bus, a wooden Amish wagon, and several other big trees. The decorations will be only temporary and will be removed after the events. Only the Evergreen tree and buildings across the street will remain lit until the New Year, organizers said.

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Mount Vernon Church, built in 1886, will be visible from the site and ring the church bell to signal when the lights are turned on.

Wray said that could impact traffic in the area during the time of the event but there will be volunteers to assist with parking.

The event comes at a time the downtown Toano area is undergoing changes as it turns into a place of historic pride for locals. 

“Historic Toano is on the rise,” Wray said in an email. “What better way of letting people know that we are open for business and new opportunities await.”

For more information, visit the event on Facebook.

Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at

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