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City lights Christmas tree

Selma Mayor George Evans and his wife Jeannie flip the switch to light the city’s Christmas tree Thursday night. -- Desiree Taylor

Adorned with sparkling lights standing adjacent to Selma City Hall, the city’s Christmas tree lighting marked the beginning of the holiday season for many. Dignitaries, officials, veterans and members of the community came together for joyful song, fellowship and commemoration of the Christmas season.

Adhering to this year’s theme: “Home for the Holidays,” Selma Mayor George Evans also took time out to honor the nearly 10 military veterans who attended Thursday’s event.

“We appreciate the sacrifice you’ve made for our freedoms,” Evans said. “I want to thank the office of planning and development and the chamber of commerce for putting this together.”

Kindergartners from Leika’s School and Selma High School Choir director Latresha Woods and Church Street United Methodist provided the Christmas music singing such classics as “Jingle Bells, Santa Claus is Coming to Town and The Christmas Song. The students also rung Christmas bells.

Selma City Ward 8 councilman Corey Bowie, who also attended last year’s lighting, said he enjoyed the festivities.

“It was great — this is the start of the Christmas season and I’d like to thank the citizens for coming out,” Bowie said. “Hopefully, this event brought the community together.”

Citizens who braved the cold during Thursday’s event, also said they enjoyed the ceremony. Selma newcomer Olivia Whiddon came to hear her son Jack sing with his class.

“It was very nice — a lot of fun,” Whiddon said.

Longtime Selma resident Lauretta Wimberly said she always enjoys the event.

“I’ve come to this to support the mayor, the chamber and rotary club,” Wimberly said. “Christmas is a wonderful time of year to come together and express … love and joy.”

Those in attendance also chimed in with unified caroling, before Evans and first lady Jeannie, turned on the switch to light the tree to end the program. The event was sponsored by the City of Selma, Downtown Selma Association and Selma Rotary Club.

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