Actress may flip Christmas tree switch

Tom Joyce Staff Reporter

December 2, 2013

A television and movie actress could go from the bright lights of the entertainment world to flipping the switch to light the official Christmas tree in her hometown — if the scheduling will allow.

Local officials are hoping Anna Wood will have that honor when Mount Airy’s 18th-annual tree-lighting ceremony is held Thursday night. It is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on the front lawn of the Municipal Building on South Main Street, and typically lures hundreds of people with activities including special holiday music and an appearance by Santa Claus.

The flipping of the switch to bring lights on the large ash tree at the southeast corner of the City Hall grounds to life is a honored task usually delegated to a special person from the community.

“We have asked Anna Wood to flip our switch, but with her filming schedule she will not know until the last minute if she will be able to make it or not,” stated Michella Huff, a key organizer of the annual event sponsored by the Mount Airy Appearance Commission.

Wood, the daughter of Bert and Mary Beth Wood, most recently appeared on the television series “Deception,” a prime-time drama on NBC. She also has had roles in other TV series and movies and is said to be presently involved in the filming of “Reckless,” a Charleston, S.C.-based series to debut in 2014.

The actress, who is in her late 20s, initially attended Mount Airy High School before transferring to North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem to complete her high school education in 2004.

Earlier this year, she was splitting time between Los Angeles and New York.

If Wood isn’t available for the tree-lighting ceremony, Brack and Angela Llewellyn — who are involved in a number of arts activities locally — will have the flip-switching honors, according to Huff.

Music And More

Thursday night’s tree-lighting program also will include musical performances by a group from Millennium Charter Academy along with Jansen Huff and Thelma Allen

A popular tradition also will continue with the Beacons group of First Presbyterian Church serving hot chocolate throughout the evening.

In addition to seeing the city’s official Christmas tree light up, a highlight of the annual gathering is the visit by Santa, who will make a gala entrance and bring along treats for the children.

A line usually forms to greet the man from the North Pole who sits in a red chair.

Meeting Delay

The tree-lighting ceremony on the grounds of the Municipal Building will require a meeting scheduled inside Thursday night to be delayed, due to some city personnel having to take part in the activities.

As a result, the first-Thursday regular meeting of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners will begin at 7:30 p.m. rather than the usual 7 p.m.

Among the scheduled business for the session is the swearing in of three city officials to new four-year terms. Mayor Deborah Cochran and commissioners Jon Cawley and Steve Yokeley were re-elected on Nov. 5.

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