On a cold and brisk Dec. 5, from 7 to 9 p.m., the circle at center square in downtown Nazareth turned into a holiday extravaganza for the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting.
The evening began with a prayer from the new pastor, Reverend Scott A. Hall, of St. John’s Lutheran Evangelical Church in Nazareth, followed by the singing of our National Anthem by Brielle. Immediately following, Chairman Bill Skinner from The Nazareth-Bath Regional Chamber of Commerce, sponsors of the event, and Mayor Lance Colondo, gave speeches and thanked those who helped put this event together: Gold Fish Swim School, Nazareth Music Center, Schmidt Funeral Home, Thrivent Financial-Jewelry, Mario Andretti, Lehigh Cement Company, WRENCHTEC, Force Gynmastics, SM Karch, LLC.
The circle was filled with Santa hat-wearing residents who listened to music performed by the Nazareth High School Brass Band as they eagerly awaited the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus. Brielle also performed three Christmas songs bringing out the Christmas spirit throughout the large crowd that sang along with her. With flashing lights and loud sirens, Santa and Mrs. Claus made their grand entrance on one of the Vigilance Hose Company No. 1 firetrucks. Greeting the crowd, Santa Claus approached the stage and gave a big wave as the children lined up to take pictures with the jolly man himself. The line to meet Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus stretched all the way down Main Street from the circle, a yearly meet and greet that has continuously grown.
Little plush presents donated by Goldfish Swim School were passed out to the children who waited in the cold to tell Santa Claus all about their Christmas lists and Mrs. Claus gave children candy canes as well. Police officers handed out green glow sticks, Embassy Bank provided bags of popcorn, as well as gingerbread men cookie cutters with an attached gingerbread man cookie recipe and handwarmers, and the Moravian Church passed out complimentary hot cocoa. The nativity scene was lovely, with a Moravian star lighting up the night above it adding to Nazareth’s historical allure.
Nazareth Borough provided the lights for the tree, Shawn Karch, hanger of the lights, and tree lighting chairman Eric Himler all played a big role in this year’s ceremony.
With Christmas cheer throughout, the Nazareth-Bath Regional Chamber of Commerce put together an evening that celebrated Christmas joy throughout.