Mayor Bob Donchez introduces his helpers in activating the tree lights; Clearview and Thomas Jefferson ES students (in no order) Sabrina Castro, Franki Cobbs, Ariana Nesimi, Jeana James and Lorraine Schenkel.
Members of Becahi’s Patriot band perform under monogrammed holiday chimes - a recent addition to Bethlehem’s many holiday traditions.
The Holmes Family Singers sing a number of tremendous and touching melodies for the gathering.
press photos by nate jastrzemskiPennsylvania Youth Ballet dancers brave the cold for the annual candy cane dance from “The Nutcracker” on the steps of the Bethlehem Area Public Library.
Thousands of residents fill Payrow Plaza before the great evergreen tree is lit. This year’s tree was donated by Michael and Serafina Lurski. More photos from the tree lighting ceremony appear on page A4.
The Orbital Drums, who formed after school out of a desire to continue drumming, beat out “All I Want for Christmas is You.” They are Camryn Cobos, Matt Horvath, Jacob Mello, Jack Weikert and Jack Lewis.
All eyes are on the mayor and his helpers before the crowd turns to see the tree finally alight.
The SwingTime Dolls, who harmonize old hits in the style of The Andrews Sisters, are Jillian Rossi (lead), Stacy Gabel (alto) and Lynn Mastio-Rice (soprano), who make the crowd sway along with “Step Into Christmas” by Elton John and “Last Christmas” by Wham!
’Tis the season!
The Christmas City officially opened the season of holiday revels with its annual tree lighting festivities at Payrow Plaza Nov. 23.
Administrators, sponsors, performers, school students and thousands of residents braced the toe-numbing chill with free cookies and hot chocolate during performances and sing-alongs.
Mayor Bob Donchez said he is proud of a city “that celebrates Christmas in a thousand ways with lights and goodwill.”
Police Chief Mark DiLuzio, who acted as emcee, said the holiday is in the very fibre of the community. “Celebrating Christmas is part of our culture and tradition,” he told the chilly throng.
The Bethlehem Press offers listings of countless community events during the holiday season. See page A14