West Columbia Tree Lighting Friday, it’s a Christmas tradition
Get ready for the sights and sounds of Christmas.
The City of West Columbia is hosting the 14th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at 6:30 p.m., on Friday. It’s at West Columbia City Hall, 200 N. 12t Street.
“It’s the city’s formally opening of the Christmas season. And the tree lighting always has the feel of a traditional, old-fashioned Christmas,” said West Columbia Mayor Bobby Horton. “It’s a wonderful community-driven event, with carols from students. And nothing is more exciting than when the city’s tree lights up.”
A familiar face will also be back again for this year’s tree lighting. Radio and television personality Joe Pinner will serve as the Master of Ceremonies. The Christmas message will be given by Rev. Kenneth Taylor from Turner Memorial AME Church.
Horton was at the first tree lighting ceremony. It was his idea to incorporate children into the program and he believes one of the most endearing parts of the event each year is the reading of the “What Christmas Means To Me” essays and poems from West Columbia area elementary students. The winning works are chosen after a contest is held at the schools. “The proud winners get to present their impressions of Christmas before the tree lighting,” said Horton. “I love to see their faces, and their families.”
And written work is not the only highlight. There is a student artwork contest and the winning work of art is featured on the cover of the Tree Lighting ceremony program. In addition to that, the top three entries are displayed on the Art on State wall on the corner of State and Meeting Streets.
“Children are excited about Christmas, said Horton. “And their participation enhances their enthusiasm. And that’s something that is special about the West Columbia’s Tree Lighting ceremony.”
And this year there will be no shortage of children singing. Students from East Point Academy Elementary School Chorus, East Point Academy Middle School Chorus, Riverbank Elementary Chorus, and Grace Christian School String Ensemble will perform holiday classics.