Christmas carols and bright lights filled the downtown area of Pembroke on Saturday afternoon when the city hosted its 28th annual Tree Lighting Ceremony near the Pembroke Police Department.
More than 50 people turned out for the short ceremony, which included prayer, a Scripture reading, a Christmas story and Christmas carols.
Choir members from Pembroke Christian Church, First Baptist Church of Pembroke and Beulah Baptist Church all gathered in front of the all-lighted tree to sing tunes like “The First Noel,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” “O Come, All Ye Faithful” and others.
The group led the crowd in “Silent Night” as Mayor Mary Warnell plugged in the cord to light up the tree. She was pleased with the crowd and said the event was well-attended.
“The Christmas Tree Lighting program reflects the reason for the season, having our local churches, ministers and choirs participate,” Warnell said in an email. “We wish to thank everyone who gave so generously in lighting up our city.”
First Baptist Church Pastor Brad Butler offered a short Scripture reading from Luke Chapter 2 about the “true meaning” of Christmas. He said he was glad to live in a community where he could share this story. Warnell also read a short story about how the tradition of Christmas lights came to be.
The event ended with prayer from Beulah Baptist Church Pastor Dan Bryant and the choir and crowd sang “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
Warnell added the city receives many compliments during Christmastime.
“I continue to receive many positive comments from not only citizens in Pembroke, but also from those who commute daily through our city,” she said. “Even a group of bird hunters from Savannah commented on how beautiful Pembroke is at Christmas.”
Pembroke’s Christmas tree will be on display through Jan. 2. The annual tree lighting in Pembroke is held usually the week before the annual Christmas parade and festival, which this year is Saturday. The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the parade begins at 11 a.m.