The City of Portland held its annual lighting of the Christmas tree on Nov. 23 in the Downtown Mini Park.
It was a clear, cool night in downtown Portland, as Main Street was closed off for the ceremony that took place around 5 p.m., starting just prior to sunset.
The Strawberry Crate, which was added to the Mini Park and completed in 2019, is the primary year-round attraction and novelty in the park, but each year at Christmas time, the crate shares the spotlight with the Christmas tree, which occupies a corner of the Mini-Park.
Mayor Mike Callis opened the ceremony with remarks before giving way to a choir of young students from Gateview Elementary School performing Christmas carols prior to the lighting of the tree. The carolers had some unexpected accompaniment from a dog that barked along to their singing as well.
That followed with Pastor Bob Moon of Portland First Baptist Church, who read the Christmas story from the Book of Luke.
District 44 State Representative William Lamberth the Majority Leader of the State House and a Portland native, was also on hand for the three-lighting and led those in attendance with the countdown to the tree lighting.
The choir sang “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” to close the program.