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City's 33rd annual Christmas Tree Lighting is Friday
The city’s 33rd annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. Friday at Centennial Park in downtown Porterville.
The community event is sponsored by the Porterville Area Ministerial Association and marks the beginning of the holiday season by the lighting of the Ross Gardner Christmas Tree, a 75-foot-tall deodar cedar that was planted 56 years ago.
This year’s program, titled “Believe,” will feature music by the Porterville Community Strings under the direction of Pam Aucutt, vocalists Jeanette Keel and Dallan Christianson, a special sign-language interpretation of “Christmas Star” by Signs of Hope and a Christmas message by Pastor Tom Olson.
Those in attendance are encouraged to participate in the program with the singing of carols.
Volunteers from Granite Hills High School’s Z Club will serve refreshments donated by Hoagies Heroes.
A new addition to this year’s program called “art in progress,” features Diego Monterrubio, who will create a scene of the nativity on a large canvas during the ceremony.
The event will also provide an opportunity to gather food and toys for those less fortunate in the community for the holiday season. The public is encouraged to fill the city’s trolley with non-perishable food items and/or unwrapped toys for collection by the Porterville Area Coordinating Council and Toys for Tots for the Salvation Army.