Story by Christina Hedding
The Florida Volunteer Fire Department hosted the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Florida on Fri., Dec. 2 on the front lawn of the Village Hall. The crowd gathered on the lawn for the festivities. For many citizens, the tree lighting signals the start of the holiday season.
The crowd excitedly awaited the arrival of Santa by firetruck, as there was not enough snow for the sleigh. Children from Golden Hill Elementary gathered together on the front steps and porch of the Village Hall to sing Christmas carols. Golden Hill Elementary School music teacher Kristin Henne led the children in the singing of “Jingle Bells” and “Silent Night.”
Members of the Golden Hill Band joined the carolers on stage, under the direction of William Couture. They played “Jolly Old St. Nicolas” for the crowd on a selection of instruments. Singing right alongside the students and helping to instill holiday cheer in the crowd was Golden Hill Principal Deb Lisack.
Then Santa arrived on the fire truck with his friend Elmo to help the fire department light the tree. The Golden Hill students broke into song once again with a joyful rendition of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” to welcome Santa. The crowd then joined Santa in counting down from ten and the tree was lit!
After the tree was lit, the children were given gifts of oranges and candy canes by the volunteer fire fighters. Santa and Elmo also posed for pictures with the children and their families. It was a festive way to begin the holiday season and the tree will stay lit throughout the Christmas season.