Article and photos by Diane Cannon
The Augusta Candlelight Walk event illuminates this historic wine country village the first two weekends in December.
In an era of electronic gadgetry overload and LED lights, Augusta’s celebration is a throwback to a gentler time. The luminaries and festivities began each evening at dusk and ran until 10 PM.
Attendance was down from previous years due to the pandemic, but the event drew a respectful attendance on Dec. 4 with the good weather. Dec. 11 had rain which reduced the number of attendees.
Carolers strolled the village and sang Christmas favorites. Bonfires with hot cider stations were sprinkled throughout the town at the participating B&B's and venues, inviting visitors to linger and enjoy each other’s company while warming up by the fire.
Although some venues opted out due to the rising COVID-19 numbers, visitors had many shops to visit: Stoneledge Antiques, Augusta Glass Studio, Oak Crossing Art Show featuring Jim Peters and Michael Phelps, Gallery Augusta, Halcyon Spa, Augusta Visitor Center, Lindenhof B&B gift shop, and Color Street – a pop up in a private residence hosted by Gia Shelby.
To round out the experience visitors could drink and dine at Kate’s Coffee House, Augusta Winery, Montelle Winery, Mount Pleasant Estates & Augusta Brewhaus.
Shopkeepers required mandatory masks, supplied hand sanitizer and limited capacity to keep with the state health and safety guidelines.
This year featured a new event at the visitor center, a Gingerbread Haus contest. Three age groups: children, teens and adults competed for prizes. Visitors were encouraged to vote. Photos of the winning entries were posted on the Augusta Chamber FaceBook page.
Another prize-winning gingerbread house was this "Gallery Augusta."
Name of winner not available at time of publication.