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Unity in the community

Photos by M.J. Subiria Arauz Kaycia Rhone, of the Lovejoy Community Center, says she enjoys decorating the city’s Christmas tree in anticipation of the tree-lighting event this Saturday. 

Photos by M.J. Subiria Arauz Kaycia Rhone, of the Lovejoy Community Center, says she enjoys decorating the city’s Christmas tree in anticipation of the tree-lighting event this Saturday. 

Many believe, when a city holds a tree-lighting event during the holiday season, it unifies the community.

Families gather in celebration of the event to countdown in unison, in anticipation of seeing the tree’s lights shine and sparkle, while decorations shimmer and glisten.

For the first time in its recent history, the City of Lovejoy will hold a “Christmas Tree Lighting” for its community, according to Kaycia Rhone, community center coordinator at the Lovejoy Community Center.

The tree lighting will be held Saturday, Dec. 3, from 6 p.m., to 7 p.m., at the Public Safety Building, 2296 Talmadge Road, in Lovejoy. Lovejoy Road is the nearest cross street.

“This is something the city had been talking about since I started back in 2009,” said Sebastian Jackson, city manager of Lovejoy.

Jackson said Lovejoy did not have a tree-lighting ceremony before, because the former city hall was too small to house a Christmas tree.

The city has been anxiously awaiting the completion of construction of the Public Safety Building, so that the tree-lighting event could be held. The festive, seasonal event comes a year after the building made its debut, Jackson said.

He said a tree-lighting celebration is important in the life of a city, because it brings people together “in the Christmas spirit,” he said.

“If you drive by City Hall, you’ll be able to see [the tree] from the inside,” he said.

The aroma of the Christmas season already is in the air, and so is the fun of decorating the tree, according to community center coordinator Rhone.

While decorating the tree recently, there was a scent of pine throughout the Joe Murphy Public Safety Building in Lovejoy. Rhone said she is enjoying placing the decorations on the tree, and looks forward to doing this every year for the holiday season.

“It’s been fun so far,” she said of the decorating.

The free tree-lighting celebration will include food and caroling. It will be held in the foyer of the building, which is surrounded by City Hall, the courtroom and police department sections of the facility, Jackson said.

The 7-foot tree, he said, is real, and was donated by Walmart in Lovejoy. He said he is hopeful Lovejoy will be able to obtain a 12-foot tree next year. The tree has clear lights, decorative bulbs, and will showcase a clear, or silver star, on the very top, Jackson added.

The Public Safety Building will also showcase wreaths and other Christmas decorations, he said. The city plans to add more activities to the annual tree-lighting event in the coming years.

For more information about Lovejoy’s Christmas Tree-Lighting celebration, contact City Hall at (770) 471-2304.