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City to celebrate 100th Christmas tree lighting

Posted on Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 3:00 pm

The city of St. Cloud is celebrating a century of its Christmas tree-lighting ceremonies.
On Friday, Dec. 1, the city will officially light the Christmas tree in the City Hall courtyard,

The city of St. Cloud prepares for a past tree lighting ceremony.

marking the 100th anniversary of the tree lighting.
The 28-foot tree will stay lit through New Year’s Day.
The city held its first tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 25, 1917, during World War I, where Santa arrived in St. Cloud by “aeroplane” to avoid German submarines in the lake.
Annual tree lightings are a feature event of many towns and cities all over the United States and St. Cloud held its first tree light lighting just eight years after America’s first community Christmas tree was established, which occurred in Perkasie Borough, Pa. in 1909, according to St. Cloud city officials.
The annual tree lighting event is a traditional event for all ages and includes crafts, games, a snow slide, ice skating rink, bounce house, rides on the “Polar Express” and will feature musical entertainment and a visit from Santa. Activities are as scheduled below:
5:30 p.m.: snowfall begins
6 p.m.: welcome ceremony by Mayor Nathan Blackwell and City Manager William Sturgeon
• Invocation – Pastor Jay McCraig
• Pledge of allegiance – Council Member Chuck Cooper.
• Introduction of Winter Queen – Deputy Mayor Dave Askew.
• Introduction of Volunteer of the Year – Parks and Recreation Director Stephanie Holtkamp and Recreation Supervisor Demetrius Chappell .
6:30 p.m.: musical entertainment by: Lakeview Elementary, Michigan Avenue Elementary, Hickory Tree Elementary, Narcoossee Elementary and East Lake Elementary.
7 p.m.: Lighting of the tree by Council Member Linette Matheny.
•Musical Entertainment by: St. Cloud High School Jazz Ensemble and St. Cloud High School Golden Girls Dance Team.
7:30 p.m.: Santa Arrives – Introduction by Council Member Donny Shroyer
7:45 p.m.: musical entertainment by St. Cloud High School Golden Girls Dance Team
• Concession will be available and provided by St. Cloud High School Band Boosters and individual visits with Santa will be available following the musical entertainment.
For more information about the 100th Anniversary Tree Lighting ceremony, visit