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Jemison to hold tree lighting, live Nativity

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Jemison is bringing the Christmas season to downtown on Nov. 20 with its annual tree lighting and live Nativity display at Jemison City Hall.

The start times for the event are a little different this year, with Santa arriving at 5 p.m. Parents are encouraged to bring their cameras to get photos of their children with Santa.

Organizers Cheryl English and Tammie McGriff said they are looking forward to spending time with the community focused on Christmas.

“It is a beautiful event to usher in the Christmas season,” English said.

This year, the live Nativity will be presented by Center Hill Youth. Animals will be provided by Jemison FFA students.

“We will have live animals,” English said. “We will have the story of baby Jesus.”

Union Grove Baptist Praise and Worship Band will perform.

“Our Scouts will be selling cookies, cocoa and spiced cider,” English said.

Cub Scout Pack 74 will be doing the opening ceremony at 6 p.m.

The tree lighting has been a staple of Jemison holiday celebrations for several years. English said the first year it was held the Girls Scouts sang after the tree was lit. Since then, numerous community groups and musical talents have participated.

This year, many of the local pageant queens will be participating.

The tree will be lit at 7 p.m.

English said there will be indoor and outdoor activities throughout the event.

“The live Nativity is my favorite part,” English said.

In addition to the tree lighting, another highlight of the evening will be the naming of Mr. and Mrs. Jemison.

“It will be a surprise for them,” English said.

This distinction is awarded by a committee of city officials based on the individual’s contribution to the community.

English said it was really based on “what people give to the community out of the goodness of their hearts.”

“There are so many in the community that would be deserving,” English said.

Organizers said they were grateful to all of the city workers that had prepared the area for the event and for the decorations the to be put up.