Bath Christmas Project fundraiser shows off volunteer decorator’s work at castle

by Trish Rudder

The Bath Christmas Project raised $2,800 during a new event this season to use toward repairs and purchases for the Berkeley Springs holiday effort.

Three two-hour events were held last week to allow groups to view Christmas decorations on the first and second floors of the Berkeley Castle. Ticket prices went toward future holiday projects.

Denise Selby, the Bath Christmas Project vice president, decorated the castle with her own Christmas decorations that she has collected since the early 1980s.

None of the Bath Christmas Project decorations nor any of its funds were used, she said.

“Everything is owned by me,” she said.

“I decorated commercial office buildings in D.C. and Northern Virginia from 1982 to 2010,” Selby said.

Denise Selby stands in front of the huge Christmas tree she decorated for the fund-raising event.

“All the $2,800 funds raised will go into the Bath Christmas Project for new items or repairs on the existing decorations,” she said.

Visits were hosted by the Berkeley Castle Foundation, with facility fees waived by castle owners Peter and Lydia Brimelow, said event organizers.

The 27 lanterns that hang on Fairfax and North Washington streets will require new wiring before the next Christmas season starts.

“We work year ‘round on the Bath Christmas Project,” Selby said.

People were in awe of the Christmas display in the historic local building.

“There were gasps when they came in,” Selby said on Monday.

Santa Claus was there at all three events, and “the kids were in their magic land,” she said.

The main hall was decorated in the traditional colors of red and gold.

The dining room had ivory and gold decorations, the landing above the main hall was decorated with a wreath of white polar bears, the second-floor landing was decorated in a country theme and the billiard room was decorated in purple and silver.

Selby serves as vice president and secretary of the Bath Christmas Project, and Pam Litten is the Treasurer. Justin Spielman and Jean Dick are Project volunteers and Lydia Brimelow is a volunteer-at-large, Selby said.

Selby said future fund-raising events will be needed to keep the organization going.

A wreath decorated with polar bears was displayed on the landing above the main hall.

Bath Christmas Project president Hunter Clark started the non-profit, all-volunteer organization about five years ago.

Every year decorations go up in the town by the volunteers, including the memorial tree in the gazebo in Berkeley Springs State Park, the decorated Christmas balls made by Widmyer Elementary School students that hang on the trees in front of the courthouse, Santa and his sleigh in front of the Trump law offices on South Washington Street, Santa’s mailbox at the Berkeley Springs library, the lights on the Berkeley Springs Train Depot, the Christmas tree lights on the Fairfax Green and other decorations around town.

“Our goal is to be the envy of every other town that wants to be like us,” Selby said.

Other contributors to the town-wide effort to spruce up for Christmas include the Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the decorated parking meters and the Berkeley Springs State Park with decorations in the park, the decorated windows by the shop owners and others, Selby said.

Selby chose a country theme to decorate the second-floor landing for the fund-raiser.

“All of this contributes to making our town a great place to live and a great place to visit,” she said.