WHITMIRE — A crowd of 300 people from across the county gathered in Whitmire Friday evening to ring in the Christmas season with a Christmas Tree Lighting, sponsored by the Whitmire Jaycees.
The evening began with seasonal selections by the Whitmire High School Royal Regiment Marching Band, followed by a welcome from Amy Silvers, Jaycees vice president. The Rev. William Yon led the invocation, and the assembly sang a chorus of “O Come, All Ye Faithful” before Pastor Mark Stevenson read the nativity story from the Gospel of Luke.
Following performances by the Whitmire Elementary School Chorus and the Royal Regiment, State Rep. Rick Martin (Dist. 40) lit the town Christmas tree.
“From my family to yours, I just want to say Merry Christmas,” Martin said.
The crowd struck up “Joy to the World” as the newly-lit tree and surrounding decorations came to life.
Pastor John Hunter gave the closing prayer, and after the ceremony, the Jaycees served cookies, coffee and hot chocolate.
Whitmire Jaycees President Jason Mack said that the tree lighting has become a tradition for the 21-member organization, which seeks to “be a voice of our community and find ways to help the community however possible.”