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Rodger Boutchyard and Dustin Pritchett, Marine Corps Community Service Buildings and Grounds employees, work to install the holiday tree in front of Lejeune Hall aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Nov. 30.

Photo by Ida Irby

Quantico prepares for holiday season, base tree lighting

3 Dec 2015 | Ida Irby Marine Corps Base Quantico

A team of five workers from Marine Corps Community Service Buildings and Grounds worked in the frosty air to assemble and fashion the 25-foot holiday tree at Lejeune Hall aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico Dec. 3.

“I take pride in seeing the tree when I’m driving on post,” said Dustin Pritchett, MCCS Buildings and Grounds employee, who has helped to install the artificial tree with burgundy and gold decorations since 2013. The tree is expected to remain lit through early January.

Charles Burchell, MCCS Buildings and Grounds supervisor, has worked aboard the base for more than 15 years. Burchell mentioned that over the years, “this is a tradition I am happy to support.” He and his team of holiday helpers have yet to acquire their individual seasonal trees.

“I’m going real,” said Rodger Boutchyard, MCCS Buildings and Grounds employee, who prefers an authentic tree for the “smell and family tradition.”

Spectators can enjoy the tree lighting festival Dec. 6 at 4 p.m. in front of Lejeune Hall.

Col. Joseph Murray, MCBQ commander, is expected to make a special stop to light the Christmas tree in a holiday ceremony for the base community. The kid-friendly event will include a visit from Santa Claus, holiday music, refreshments and the opportunity to donate an unwrapped children’s gift for the Toys for Tots charity to benefit a child in need.

In addition to the lighting ceremony there will be many events on base and in the community to include:

Santa Clause is coming to town

Santa will visit the base Marine Corps Exchange Dec. 13-19.

Town of Quantico’s 69th annual Christmas parade

The Town of Quantico’s 69th annual Christmas parade is Saturday at 1 p.m. on Potomac Ave. in the Town of Quantico. Santa will be at the Masonic Temple on Potomac Ave. after the parade to greet the children. There will be a Toys for Tots collection box in the Municipal parking lot for donations. Please bring a new, unwrapped toy for this most worthy cause. Any questions call Councilwoman Earlene Clinton at 703-630-0724.

The Town of Dumfries 41st annual Christmas-holiday parade

The Town of Dumfries is hosting its 41st annual Christmas-holiday parade to be held on Saturday at 12 p.m. Please see for information.

Manassas Christmas Parade, Saturday

Old Town Manassas celebrates the Christmas season each year with a weekend of old-fashioned family fun at the “Merry Old Town” celebration. The festivities include a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, the Manassas Christmas Parade, a gingerbread contest and lots of holiday activities for all ages.

Christmas at Mount Vernon

Nov. 27- Jan. 6, 2016. Christmas at one of Northern Virginia’s top attractions transports visitors back in time to experience the holidays like George Washington did with themed decorations, a gingerbread Mount Vernon, historical chocolate-making demonstrations, 18th-century dancing, and even a Christmas camel.

Bull Run Festival of Lights

This festive display of lights features penguins, snowmen, deer, candy canes and Santa. After viewing the lights you can visit the Winter Wonderland Holiday Village that includes amusement rides, an ice skating rink, entertainment, shopping, contests, food, and more. Nov. 18 - Jan. 3. Bull Run Regional Park, 7700 Bull Run Dr., Centreville, Virginia. 703-359-4633.

— Writer:

Marine Corps Base Quantico