Peachland citizens gathered at the town fire department for the tree lighting, community singing and other events on Thursday night.
Drew Tucker, 13, was chosen to light the tree. Tucker has been a competitive swimmer since he was 7 and is hoping to compete in the next Olympic Trials, according to Mayor Richard Allen, who gave a proclamation before the lighting.
After the tree was lit, the attendees went inside the fire department where Joe Dutton led them in a community singing of favorites such as “Silent Night,” “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and many more. The Christmas story of Luke 2 was then read while costumed children dressed as Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the wise men, angels, stars, donkeys, and even rabbits and dogs gathered as their cue was read.
Following more community singing, including a couple of numbers with the children, Allen read “The Night Before Christmas” to the children as they gathered around him. Allen barely finished the story before Santa Claus walked in the room, delighting the children, who were given treat bags and the opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap to tell him their wish list while the adults ate.
The tree lighting is one of three major annual events in Peachland. The next is Peachland’s Gospel Jubilee, typically held on the third Saturday in May, according to the town’s website.