Wilsonville’s tree lighting ushers in Christmas spirit

Published 1:49 pm Wednesday, November 28, 2018

WILSONVILLE – The residents of Wilsonville gathered on Monday, Nov. 26, for the town’s fourth Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony that kicked off at 5:30 p.m.

Guests were treated to free apple cider, hot chocolate and coffee, photo opportunities with Santa Claus, Christmas songs from Wilsonville Elementary’s pre-K class and holiday music from bluegrass trio Three on a String. Resident Edward Cohill flipped the switch to power the roughly 30-foot Christmas tree, complete with a star at the top.

Wilsonville’s Cub Scout Pack 588, which also includes children from Vincent and Harpersville, passed out cookies at the ceremony and collected donations for their Salvage Christmas project that benefits the students of the Bay District Schools in Panama City Beach who were affected by Hurricane Michael.

Cubmaster Jennifer Shackelford said the group decided to participate in the project in honor of a former scout whose family moved to Panama City Beach and was affected by the hurricane. At the tree lighting, the pack collected new and unwrapped toys and monetary donations to send to Bay District Schools. Organizers of the project aim to collect 14,000 toys for its K-12 students.

“People are still in shelters, dealing with insurance and they have no jobs because they’ve all been destroyed,” Shackelford said. “On top of all that, parents shouldn’t have to worry about what they’re going to do to make Christmas special for their kids.”

Mayor Lee McCarty said the annual event ushers in the Christmas season for the residents of the small town.

“This is Christmas in Wilsonville,” McCarty said. “We have a nativity scene, Santa Claus, a great band and our pre-K students did a wonderful job singing Christmas songs. What more could you ask for? Everything turned out great and I’m really pleased with the turnout. We work hard to make sure that people love the community they live in and this is one of those events that everyone really loves.”