Fenwick Island tree-lighting ceremony gets scaled back

The Fenwick Island Town Council decided on Nov. 15 that the Town would not hold its annual Memorial Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony but would instead perform the tree-lighting in a lower-profile event.

“I didn’t know if you wanted to do it again this year, or do you want to wait until we get someone here full-time?” asked Mayor Audrey Serio of council during the special council meeting, referring to the departure of Town Manager Win Abbott and the council’s ongoing work to replace him.

“The outside ceremony was well done, but there were only a few people from the town,” responded Councilwoman Vicki Carmean of the attendance at the 2010 event.

“It was all firemen,” agreed Serio.

The ceremony was original brought to council by Abbott, as a way to raise money for the Bethany Beach Fire Company, which serves Fenwick Island, and also honor lost loved-ones.

This year would have marked the ceremony’s third year, but the council decided that, due to lack of attendees, it would be scaled back.

“Last year was the first time I was able to go, and I thought it was a great ceremony,” said Councilman Todd Smallwood.

Carmean suggested that, instead of holding the full ceremony, the council light the town’s Christmas tree following the Dec. 2 town council meeting.

“I think that’d be nice, because we’d get it one week earlier… I think that’s a good idea,” agreed Councilwoman Diane Tingle.

All the councilpersons agreed, adding that a reception following the lighting would not be held.

“Maybe Gene [Langan] and Bill [Weistling] could sing us Christmas carols,” joked Carmean.

Tingle noted that, if residents complain about the ceremony being scaled back, they will revisit the issue in 2012.

“If anybody complains, we can have it next year,” said Tingle.

The Fenwick Island Christmas tree will be lit on Dec. 2, following the council meeting, which will begin at 3:30 p.m.