Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration at the Thomas Center on Saturday, Dec. 3
On Saturday, Dec. 3, the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department is hosting its annual Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration at the Historic Thomas Center. Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe will be on hand to welcome citizens, and call for the giant tree to be lit. The free program runs from 6-8 p.m., and light refreshments will be served.
The heart of the celebration is the holiday decorations on the giant tree and around the building, which are annually provided by the Thomas Center Associates.
Santa takes some time from his busy holiday schedule to visit with the children and listen to their fondest wishes. The joyful sounds of holiday music on the hammered dulcimer and autoharp by Jim and Joyce Lillquist of the Gypsy Guerrilla Band are heard along with the dulcet carols sung by the Singers of the Reformation and the Gainesville Harmony Show Chorus. The Gainesville Harmony Show Chorus was just awarded a fifth place medal in the Sweet Adelines International Harmony Classic small chorus competition held in Las Vegas.
A highlight of the occasion is the horse drawn wagon rides provided by the Duckpond Neighborhood Association during the event. These take passengers about the historic Duckpond neighborhood to view the luminaries they set out each year for the holidays. Prices for the rides are $7 for adults and $3 for children.