The 40th annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, will be held Friday, November 29, at 6 p.m. at Centennial Park in downtown Porterville, where the park gazebo will be decorated with holiday lights and Christmas decor.

 The traditional community event marks the opening of the Christmas holiday season, with the 

“The Love of Christmas” theme. Festive holiday music will be performed by professional vocalists Elyse Willis and Efrain Martinez, Josh Day and Friends, and the Porterville Community Strings directed by Pam Aucutt. Deenie’s Dance Praise Team will entertain with inspirational dance routines, including one with sign language. 

A Christmas message will be presented by Pastor Steve Walker from Valley Oak Community Church.

The crowd is invited to join-in and sing Christmas carols, enjoy cookies provided by Subway Sandwiches and hot chocolate provided by The Gathering.

When everyone sings ‘Silent Night” in Centennial Park, between 6:30 and 6:45 p.m., the crowd will turn around to see the official, full lighting of Ross Gardner Christmas Tree next to City Hall.

Denise Marchant, who’s helping to organize the event, said, “For four decades this event has also provided an opportunity for people in the community to gather food and toys to share with those less fortunate for the holiday season. This tradition continues, and the public is asked to bring nonperishable food items and/or unwrapped toys for collection by the Salvation Army and Toys for Tots.”

Volunteers from Granite Hills High School Z Club will assist with the ceremony and festivities.

Christmas in Springville

Springville will hold its lighting of the Memorial Christmas Tree, craft fair and drawing on Friday, December 6 at Springville Veterans Memorial Park.

Craft vendors will be at the park selling their items, beginning at noon. The tree lighting will be at about 6:15 p.m. with the arrival of a “special guest” immediately following.

Entertainment will begin at 5 p.m. and the reading of the memorial names on the plaque will be held at 6. A 50/50 drawing will be held at 7 p.m.

There will be a live Nativity Scene, hot cocoa, cider and cookies. Photos with Santa taken by Donnie Zimmerman will be offered.

Drawing tickets are $1. Pre-sale tickets are available for purchase at local businesses or from Christmas in Springville committee members.

Those attending can bring food donations for the Springville Fire Department’s Food Drive and receive a free bowl of Dutch Oven stew prepared by Scott Owens.

For more information on how to be a vendor or add a name to the Memorial Plaque call Randy and Denise Young, 559-359-1129 or 559-359-2215 or Dave and Joanne Ploneis, 559-359-1173 or 559-359-1172.

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