By Richard Sullins |

The years seem to go by faster as we age. As children in elementary school, we thought Christmas would never arrive. But as the years went by, the holiday seasons seem to arrive at a pace that quickened with every trip around the sun. But the sudden arrival of COVID-19 in early 2020 resulted in the cancellation of many of the traditions that bind us together and many of us wondered whether we would live to see them return.

Tradition returns again this year in Broadway on Sunday, December 4, at 4 p.m. at the North Carolina Veterans Memorial Pavilion with its annual tree lighting ceremony and a display featuring 2,200 luminaries down Main Street until 10 p.m. As it has been in the past, this tradition will be the handiwork of volunteers who carry on a practice that has persisted for decades.

But you will be able to see the centerpiece of this year’s celebration long before making it to downtown. The crown jewel of the festival of lights will be the town’s water tower. Workers got them installed a few days ago and their white lights have been shining in the night sky ever since.

Town Commissioner Jim Paschal said he’s gotten a number of calls over the past few weeks from folks who like the way the tower lights look.

“They just can’t say enough good things about them, except to say that they look super,” he said. “They really do and people know that it’s Christmastime in Broadway when they look up and see them.”

Mayor Pro Tem Tommy Beale agreed, saying “people go crazy when they look up and see the lights.”

Mayor Donald Andrews shared another bit of information sure to bring out the inner child in this season of hope: Santa Claus is expected to make a stop in Broadway during the festivities on Sunday.

This will be the first of two visits by Santa to Broadway in less than a week. On the following Saturday, December 10, Santa is set to return and hold down the anchor position in the town’s Christmas parade, which starts at 2 p.m. The Broadway Lions Club sponsors the parade and will occupy the final float in the parade along with Santa.

Police training updates

Town Manager John Godfrey reported that all officers of the Broadway Police Department have received training on the proper use of tasers. They had been purchased recently, along with body cameras for each officer. Godfrey added that each officer has received additional training on the proper means of situational de-escalation. Taken together, these three trainings have added to the capabilities of the town’s law enforcement presence.