Tree Lighting switches on holiday cheer

by Sylene Argent

Just like it is said in the holiday movie, “Elf,” the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. And, that is exactly how the community ushered in the season of giving last Friday evening as the Essex Centre BIA and the Essex Salvation Army hosted the annual Tree Lighting event at the Essex Municipal Building.

  With perfect winter weather, this year’s annual Tree Lighting event was likely the best attended in recent memory, with hundreds of area residents heading to the Essex Municipal Building to sing carols by the tree as the Essex Public School Concert Band and the Salvation Army South Windsor Band played an array of holiday favourites.

  The Essex Centre BIA and the Essex Salvation Army partner to host this event each year as a way to get the community excited about the holiday season. 

The Tree Lighting event also doubles as the Essex Salvation Army’s Kettle Campaign kick-off.  Between the Christmas Kettle Campaign and the Letter Campaign, the Essex Salvation Army is looking to raise $90,000 this holiday season. The donations collected through the Christmas Kettle and Letter Campaigns help the Salvation Army to provide a myriad of services and programs to those in need throughout the year.

  The Salvation Army is in need of volunteers to man the Christmas Kettles over the next several weeks. If anyone has a few hours to spare, the Essex Salvation Army could use volunteers to help man the Christmas Kettles at the two local grocery stores, Essex Foodland and Jeff’s No Frills. Kettles will also be set up at locations in Harrow and at the Amherstburg Walmart.

  To help keep everyone at the event warm, the Salvation Army provided complimentary chili, hot dogs, and hot chocolate. They also collected new, unwrapped toys for its Christmas Toy and Hamper program from those who wished to donate.

  Youth, brimming with excitement, enjoyed watching Essex Mayor Larry Snively flip the switch to officially turn on the Christmas tree lights and the Essex Centre BIA’s star for the 2019 holiday season. They also got to sit with Santa and Mrs. Claus in the gazebo, where they were able to take a picture with the jolly couple and relay Christmas wishes.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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