Christmas season arrives Friday
Students from Marvine and Freemansburg elementary schools were the guests of honor at the Mayor’s Christmas Tree decorating party Nov. 18 at Payrow Plaza. The third graders were treated to a variety of gifts and activities which included a visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus and music by 25 members of the Freedom HS Patriot Band. Volunteers from the Moravian College women’s soccer team, Cops “n” Kids Children’s Literacy Program and the Bethlehem Police Department participated in the children’s event which also offered treats and lunch for the kids.
After decorating the Mayor’s Tree with laminated ornaments prepared by the students in school, the children and their teachers gathered around the evergreen to sing Christmas Carols with tMayor Bob Donchez.
Six students were selected from the two schools to be the mayor’s assistants for the lighting of the Christmas City Tree Nov. 25. From Freemansburg the students are Vincent Diaz, Davalyn Rosado and Julissa Velasquez and from Marvine Joyce Perez, Timothy Swindel and Nathaniel Velasquez.
This year’s annual Christmas City Tree Lighting Ceremony, which marks the start of the holiday season in the Christmas City USA , also includes the ongoing celebration of Bethlehem’s 275th Anniversary. The expanded program features multiple live performances by Cunningham & Associates led by former Mayor Don Cunningham, DeXperience hip-hop group and the St. John A.M.E. Zion Church choir. The program features a community sing of popular Christmas carols led by Luke DiGiacinto, of Bethlehem, who will also sing “O Holy Night” a cappella. The Rev. Daniel Miller of Edgeboro Moravian Church, representing the Moravian community of Bethlehem which founded the settlement in 1742, will do the blessing. Bob Jones, the artist of this year’s Christmas City Seal, a fundraiser for the city-wide holiday lights and decorations, will be recognized.
Following the lighting of the giant Christmas City Tree by Mayor Robert Donchez and the elementary school student assistants, Santa will arrive on a fire truck with treats for the children. Free hot chocolate and baked goods are available at the ceremony. The Mayor’s Tree Decorating Party and the Christmas City Tree Lighting Ceremony are presented by the Citizens Christmas City Committee, of the Bethlehem Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Lehigh Valley Cops “n” Kids Literacy Program.