Jemison holds annual tree lighting ceremony

Published 12:30 pm Wednesday, November 24, 2021

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The night was crisp and clear as Jemison residents waited in anticipation for the lighting of the Christmas tree.

Most held a candle that had been lit from someone else’s candle with the first candle being lit belonging to Mayor Eddie Reed.

The candle lights gave the event a classic and nostalgic feel. The candle lighting tradition began in 2018. Event organizer Cheryl English said having the candle lighting gets everyone involved and brings them together.

“The flame goes all the way through the crowd,” English said. “Everyone is doing the same thing all at once and it makes it really special.”

She always enjoys seeing the community come together for the event.

Event organizer Tammie McGriff said she enjoys the moment of anticipation right before the lights are turned on for the Christmas tree when “everyone stops for a moment and really thinks about Christmas.”

“We are all together singing Christmas carols and lighting the candles,” McGriff said. “It’s just priceless.”

She said it was also good for everyone to be able to gather together again after the previous pandemic restrictions.

The organizers thanked all of those who were a part of making the event a success.

The festivities began inside the Jemison Municipal Complex, where children shared their Christmas wishes with Santa and sweet treats were for sale.

“We are proud of the participants and the workers who have done this to make Christmas a joyous time of the year,” Reed said.

He said the event provided hope, especially the past two years as the coronavirus pandemic has lingered.

“This is hope for us, and it is all about the birth of Christ,” Reed said.

He commented that he was glad the city could enjoy the event to kick off the holiday season.

“(I) wish everybody a happy Christmas and a very prosperous new year,” Reed said.

Jemison City Council member Donna Manasco said she was “proud of the city of Jemison and the things they are doing and how they are prospering.”

“I am so thankful that we are able to do this tree lighting tonight, and I am proud that we are able to celebrate Jesus’s birth in a free country,” Manasco said.

Her favorite part of the Christmas season is seeing the manger scene displays and lights as well as seeing the joy and happiness that people show this time of year.