Walthourville residents were greeted with smiles, hot chocolate and refreshments Dec. 2 as Mayor Daisy Pray, Councilwoman Patricia Green and staff hosted their first Christmas tree-lighting ceremony.
Residents from Walthourville and neighbors from surrounding counties watched as Pray flipped the switch to illuminate the tree, symbolizing another first for Walthourville.
Bishop Roger Underwood Sr. of Pleasant Hill Holiness Church gave the opening prayer, then Pastor Nelean Lewis of Tabernacle of Praise presented a scripture reading.
St. Peters Young Adult Choir provided a selection of songs for the ceremony.
Pastor Richard Hayes of New Day Outreach Ministries recited the “Reason for the Season,” followed by a rendition of “My Grown Up Wish List” by his daughter. Veronica Blackwell concluded the singing with “O Holy Night.”
Children eagerly awaited the arrival of Santa Claus, played by Walthourville Police Chief Terry Harget, who visited with the children and handed out gift bags.
Pray concluded the ceremony by thanking the staff for their hard work, local pastors and youth groups for their support and citizens for attending the ceremony.