Santa helped Riceboro residents light the city’s Christmas tree during its annual ceremony Thursday evening.
Santa aide, Fire Chief Dennis Fitzgerald, handed out gifts in an annual giveaway, with help from City Councilman David Miller.
Mayor William Austin, who officiated the ceremony, turned on the lights to the 16-foot tree, assisted by Miller. They then led songs and handed out the giveaways, numerous items donated by the city and IKEA, along with T-shirts provided by Straight-Outta-Riceboro’s Willie Anderson Jr.
The crowd gathered for the lighting in a field adjacent to City Hall. They were warmed by strategically located bonfires, flaming portable fire pits, stoked by city workers Tommie Wynn, Jerome Brown and Dean Glover and councilmen Miller and Chris Stacy.
Bags of fruit and candies were handed out with hot coffee as the singing and giveaways got underway.
Noting recent progress in the city, along with “more” and “better” to come, Austin praised efforts of city workers who coordinated the event.