JACKSON – Township officials, families, members of the Jackson Liberty High School Choir, the Grinch, Rudolph the-red-nosed reindeer, Olaf of the snowman from the film “Frozen” and a certain red suited, white bearded gentleman from the North Pole were all part of the fun at this year’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.
While gray skies and rain were present earlier in the day, the sun came out, the rain stopped and the 4:30 p.m. start of the event there was mild weather for a December afternoon.
Members of the Recreation Department provided refreshments including hot chocolate, popcorn, candy and other items. They also provided a trio of characters (the Grinch, Rudolph and Olaf) who came out to add to the festive atmosphere. The characters interacted with attendees – many of whom had their photos taken with them.
Rebecca Young of Jackson Liberty High School led the school’s choir that performed various holiday favorites including “Bethlehem,” “This Time of The Year,” “Bidi Bom,” “Deck The Halls” and “We Believe.”
Township residents Jesse and Bella Gardocki, Evan and Dani Cabell were enjoying visiting the spot where Santa would soon be passing out candy canes and listening to Christmas wish lists. A family member was singing in the choir which was another reason they stopped by.
The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony however wasn’t their only festive event within the community that day. “Afterward we’ll be heading over to the Jackson United Methodist Church which is right down the street,” Jackie Cabell said. She is Jesse and Bella’s aunt and Evan and Dani’s mom.
“They are doing a talent show where they will be singing and doing the play Elf. Jesse is playing the lead in Elf,” she added.
The event went off without a hitch with Mayor Michael Reina, Council President Martin Flemming and Councilmen Steven Chisholm and Nino Borrelli joining members of the Recreation Department, the Jackson Department of Public Works, Brandon Zapata and Cassville Station #56 who pulled in Santa Claus’s special sleigh from the back of their fire truck, possibly as far as the north pole itself.
Recreation Department Director Joeylynn Anderson introduced the mayor who greeted everyone and wished the community a very happy and healthy holiday season before he officially lit the tree. Several years ago, the township DPW created a large electric switch panel that was positioned on stage beside the choir. The large light switch panel is a unique fixture at the holiday event that joined many inflated decorations and Christmas lights on Town Hall property for the occasion.