Home Local News City of Rockingham Ignites Christmas Spirit with 15th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting

City of Rockingham Ignites Christmas Spirit with 15th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting

Dozens of people gathered for the 15th annual Christmas tree lighting at Cole Plaza in Rockingham Tuesday night.
Photo courtesy of Jimmy McDonald.

ROCKINGHAM – The City of Rockingham officially got into the Christmas spirit Tuesday night when it unveiled its tree at Cole Plaza for the 15th year in a row.

To get the festivities started, Rockingham Middle School’s chorus, led by director Lauren Lutz, sang a few carols such as “Feliz Navidad” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” Lutz also invited the crowd of approximately 100 people to sing along.

Recently re-elected Rockingham Mayor Steve Morris then talked about how in order for anything to get done in the city, it takes a team of people to get behind it, and the tree lighting was no different.

Morris then thanked a plethora of his peers, which included Mayor Pro Tem John Hutchinson, councilman Bennett Deane and councilwomen Anne Edwards and Denise Sullivan, who were all in attendance, as well as city manager Monty Crump. Morris also acknowledged North Carolina State Representative Ken Goodman and former North Carolina Senator and Rockingham Mayor Gene McLaurin for their dedication.

When asked what he thought makes the annual event such a unique experience, Hutchinson noted that it’s the chorus members that manage to capture the season’s spirit.

“It is definitely the school children who make the event so special,” Hutchinson commented. “They come to sing holiday songs around the city’s Christmas tree, and Lauren Lutz and her chorus can be counted on to get everybody in the Christmas spirit.”


Hutchinson further explained that the Christmas tree lighting means a lot more to the community than a simple light show.

“The actual lighting of the tree gives the City an opportunity to recognize someone very special to the community,” he explained. “Every year, the City chooses someone who has made an important contribution to the town the chance to ‘flip the switch’ and turn on the tree lights. This year, we were pleased to recognize retiring city employee Tina Harvey, who has given more than three decades of service to Rockingham.

“The tree on Cole Plaza is tremendous in size, and absolutely beautiful when lit up,” Hutchinson continued. “It has definitely become a favorite Rockingham tradition over the last fifteen years for everyone to gather together on Cole Plaza, and share a few minutes on a dark, chilly night while listening to Christmas carols and watching those lights come on. Every single year, there is tremendous good will and community spirit flowing through the crowd.”

After the formalities of the mayor were spoken, a countdown from five began, and the crowd ooh’d and ahh’d when Harvey flipped the switch and the tree was lit from the bottom to the star on top.

Following the ceremony, cookies and other snacks were provided for everyone in attendance to enjoy.

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