By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY
The annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony sponsored by Crestline area churches was delayed a week, due to snow, and had a limited attendance this year due to the rainstorm that occurred up to the beginning of the ceremony.
Bill Mellinger from the First Baptist Church, Dan Stipp from the Lake Gregory Church, Roy Collins from Mountain Hope Church and Bill Tippi from the New Life Christian Fellowship read from the Bible and told the Christmas story, while guitarist Andrew Newbury led those attending in Christmas carols to accent the story.
Everyone was given song sheets and joined in singing “Silent Night,” “Away in a Manger,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” “Oh Come All ye Faithful” and “Joy to the World.” Fifteen-year Crestline resident and grandmother Doris White brought her 3-year-old granddaughter, Remington Rose Alcala, who exclaimed, “I’m excited!”
When it came time for the countdown, everyone got close to the railing and counted down – 5-4-3-2-1 – and then yelled,“Light that tree,” and it suddenly burst into view across the lake.
The tree has a big white star on the top and is decorated with colorful strings of vertical lights. It should be visible every evening through Christmas for all who drive by the lake. The tree is on the south shore just east of the waterslide.
Lake Gregory Recreation Company spent the afternoon cleaning up the broken tree branches from the Thanksgiving Day snowstorm, cleaning up the patio area and setting up all the chairs for the event, and they supplied the hot chocolate. Church members supplied the plentiful and delicious cookies.
New residents Brian and Janelle Ungard were very impressed by their first community tree lighting ceremony and were excited to be there, seeing how nicely the churches work in a united way in the community. “We hope to attend every year; this was fun.”