Christmas on the Lake  It’s hard to celebrate Christmas at the Lake when you’re missing the lake. 

   That’s been the problem for several years in Hope Mills as the community struggled with losing its centerpiece lake following two failures of the Hope Mills Dam. 

   But now that the dam is back and the lake has been restored after years of absence, Christmas at the Lake will return in all its glory this month. 

   The event is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 30, from 6-7:30 p.m. 

   Cathy Johnson of the Hope Mills Appearance Committee described the evening that has been planned as “an old-fashioned Christmas in the mill village.’’ 

   Everyone is hoping for good weather because if it’s raining, Johnson said, there are no plans to move the event indoors anywhere and it will have to be canceled. 

   This year’s resumption of Christmas at the Lake will include familiar features from past years. Most of the activities will take place in the open area of the lake park between the gazebo and the opposite end of the park near the rebuilt dam. 

   Special events will include the lighting of the Christmas tree and the burning of the traditional Yule log. 

   Johnson said the plan also includes the singing of Christmas carols by groups from a variety of local churches. 

   Free hot chocolate and cookies will be provided for all in attendance, Johnson said. 

   Phyllis Hales, longtime Hope Mills resident, said Christmas at the Lake offers special memories for older residents of the area and she’s glad to see it return. 

   “It’s something for everybody,’’ she said, “kind of the opening of the Christmas season.’’ 

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