BRISTOL , Va. — Believe in Bristol Executive Director Christina Blevins is adamant about the Christmas season starting when that luscious, green tree in Cumberland Square Park is lit on the first Monday after Thanksgiving.
“I see the people there drinking hot chocolate, carols being sung and then, you see that tree when they flip the switch. It’s a special moment for downtown and I think it’s the signal for everybody that the holidays are here,” Blevins said.
The park will host the 33rd annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Monday, Dec. 2, beginning at 6:15 p.m. BVU technicians recently outfitted the 25-foot Norwegian spruce on the park grounds with 30,000 LED lights, the most in recent history, according to BVU spokesman Chris Hall.
“This event is what we consider one of those community jewels,” Hall said. “We try to hold to tradition on it because, especially during the holidays, tradition means so much.”
The mayors of the Twin City will illuminate the tree while holiday classics will be performed by the Virginia High School Marching Band, the Virginia High School Choir and the Tri Cities Christian School combined choirs, he said.
Blevins said the event provides an atmosphere that brings back those Christmas times of old.
“It is a great time to meet up with people and just relive some great times and make new memories,” Blevins said. “We’re thankful that BVU is continuing to help with the event and we hope people will come be a part of it.”
The tradition was started and handled for many years by city resident Nancy Marney, who worked with the late Bud Walling and his family to create an event similar to those she had seen in Vermont.
In case of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 3, Hall said.
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