By Beverly Perkins
It was beginning to feel a lot like Christmas at the start of the 2017 holiday season in the City of North Miami Beach (NMB). All residents were invited to the annual “NMB Tree Lighting Ceremony” in front of City Hall on November 30th.
Everyone was in the spirit as they came dressed in festive holiday colors. They gathered around the unlit tree excited for the evening festivities. Residents were welcomed by City Manager Ana M. Garcia, and Mayor George Vallejo followed by introducing the City Commission and dignitaries. Also in attendance was Christopher Taylor on behalf of Miami Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman.
The ceremony began with 100 children in the Parks & R.E.C. After School Program dressed in red and green, wearing elf and reindeer hats singing, “Here Comes Santa Claus.” As they sang, the jolly big man in the red suit came down the street to meet the crowd in the bucket of a bucket truck. The excitement was in the air as young ones were delighted to see him lifted to the very top of the tree as he lit it.
“The NMB Tree Lighting Ceremony kicked off the festive holiday season, spreading cheer and joy, to all those that join us for this very special community event,” said City Manager Ana M. Garcia.
Attendees of all ages were mesmerized by the beautiful lights on the gigantic tree. The children were anxious to meet Santa as he was lowered to the ground. Other activities after the tree lighting included Christmas carols performed by the NMB Library Kids Choir and singer Shanteria Gourdet, light refreshments, holiday arts and crafts and story time.