A spot of rain failed to put a damper on Santa’s parade at Lebanon’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting, held Thursday on the city’s public square.
Hundreds of community members gathered for the event, which featured a performance from many of Wilson County Schools’ elementary choir students. The Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce coordinated the festivities alongside the city.
“This is an opportunity that we enjoy every year,” chamber President Melanie Minter said. “It’s the perfect way to start our season of joy.”
Lebanon Mayor Bernie Ash said the tree lighting marks the beginning of the holiday season and is meant to create a welcoming atmosphere.
“Thanksgiving is coming up next week and Christmas is just around the corner, which means Santa Claus is not far behind,” he said. “This is a great time of the year. The city of Lebanon, the employees have done a fantastic job getting everything ready, as they always do.”
After the choir performed a selection of Christmas standards and night fell, children and families gathered around the newly lit tree to see the decorations and take photographs.
Local businesses also kept their doors open late, allowing families to shop until 6 p.m. and offering hot chocolate.
“These people have worked very hard to create these beautiful shops and businesses around here,” Ash said. “When you do your shopping this year, shop here in Lebanon first and help the square.”
Local elementary school students also created the ornaments decorating the Christmas tree, which will remain on the square throughout the holiday season.
“There have been many handcrafted additions around the tree, so just know that the City of Lebanon is working really hard to provide us with a great environment on the square,” Minter said. “We love children, we love families, and we want people to visit our city and enjoy the quality of life that we all work so hard to provide for our community. “