The Lunenburg County Historical Society is pleased to announce that an ornament created by Helen Wilkinson Daniel of Kenbridge is the winner of the annual contest sponsored by the Virginia Association of Counties that encourages all of the counties in the Commonwealth to submit one handcrafted ornament that uniquely represents that locality. Winning ornaments from each of the state’s jurisdictions – including towns and cities – will hang on the Executive Mansion Tree during the Christmas holidays.
The Lunenburg winner, Mrs. Daniel, has been handcrafting whimsical folk-art “stick Christmas Santas” for some years. Her popular Santas are collected by many people in Lunenburg and beyond. Here is what she said about her winning ornament: “The ornament is created/carved from a pine branch, representing Lunenburg County's timber products. This Santa has been painted stirring a pot of ‘Dundas Ruritan Sheep Stew,’ a delicacy made famous by the Dundas Ruritans and only sold in Lunenburg County.”
In late September, the historical society sounded the appeal for entries which were required to be submitted within certain guidelines according to size and materials used. All had to be hand-crafted. Local judging took place at the office of the County Administrator.
With the health and safety of all in mind, this year the Executive Mansion will not be open for tours. However, the ornaments will be featured throughout the season online at www. executivemansion.virginia.gov or follow @FirstLadyVA on Facebook and Twitter.