Tree Lighting (273392)

The city of Lancaster hosted recently its annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, complete with members of the Grace Chapel Choir and a visit from Santa Claus himself. In addition to a number of girls and boys becoming the proud owners of new bicycles – this year’s ceremony marked the community’s first time seeing the new City Hall Christmas tree adorned with festive lights.

“With preparations for the Christmas holiday in full swing, I ask our residents to remember the true meaning of the season – to give back,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “When you give back you cultivate a culture of ‘paying it forward’ as well as strengthen your community, creating a positive ripple effect which reaches countless others.”

In the spirit of giving, 10 deserving children were gifted a new bicycle and helmet during the ceremony, presented to them by local Sheriff’s deputies with the help of Santa Claus and his elves. These gifts represent just a small portion of a much larger bicycle giveaway taking place throughout the Lancaster community. This larger giveaway is being coordinated by the City of Lancaster, Antelope Valley Sheriff Boosters, Wal-Mart, and Grace Chapel, with more than 1,000 bicycles being donated to local children throughout the holiday season.

“The Christmas cheer felt during this event never seems to fade,” added Lancaster Vice Mayor Marvin Crist. “Each year when we gift bikes to local kids, it’s just as joyous as the first time – because giving is truly the greatest gift one can receive. While the Lancaster Sheriff Deputies and Antelope Valley Sheriff Boosters work diligently every day to ensure the public’s safety, they also contribute to our community in a number of other ways, whether it be bringing a smile to the face of a child or assisting a stranger in need.”

One lucky child was even chosen to flip the switch on the holiday season by lighting the new City Hall Christmas Tree. First dedicated to the City of Lancaster on February 14, 1986 by the Bozigian and Folaron families, the tree stood as a reminder of the community’s strength and unity for more than three decades. After 32 years, the original City Hall Christmas tree was replaced in early October.

“As we ring in a new era for the organization, I can think of no better time to also welcome our new Christmas tree. Firmly rooted in place, this new tree will continue to be a beacon of Christmas tradition, as well as community togetherness in Lancaster for years to come,” concluded Lancaster City Manager Mark Bozigian.