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Community tree sparkles to life

Roswell firefighter Steven Sarmiento responds to a non-emergency ribbon-and-ornament call Saturday. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Saturday in Roswell felt a lot like summer, but Christmas blazed its way into town as the community came together to light a downtown tree.

For the first year, MainStreet Roswell organized a Community Tree Decorating event. Working with the city of Roswell, the Roswell Chamber of Commerce, the Roswell Fire Department, MainStreet volunteers and community members and people gathered Saturday afternoon at three evergreens in the Pioneer Plaza that had previously been strung with colored lights to adorn the center tree with ornaments, ribbons and popcorn and cereal trim.

As day turned to dark, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus and a little Claus tike set the lights aglow, with Mayor Dennis Kintigh, Roswell Chamber of Commerce Redcoats and officials, and MainStreet board members, as well as dozens of community members and children, on hand to greet Santa.

“We wanted to do something more than just put lights up,” said MainStreet Executive Director Kathy Lay. “We wanted to do something for the whole community to come and participate in, and make memories for the holidays.”

Last year, MainStreet coordinated the stringing of lights donated by Xcel Energy on trees that line Main Street, which this year was done by McDaniel Home Solutions, the company that also put the lights on the Pioneer Plaza pines. The MainStreet organization also wraps downtown light poles with ribbons, capping them off with jaunty Santa hats.

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MainStreet plans to light the trees at the Chaves County Courthouse as well some future year, but could only afford this year to expand to the Pioneer Plaza.

Lay said that Ron and Carrie Flury donated 90 spools of LED colored lights, with 200 lights per spool, while Bullock’s Jewelry contributed many of the ornaments. Roswell residents also brought about a hundred bobbles and balls and sparklers. Members of the Roswell Fire Department placed some orbs and ribbons on the highest branches using their firetruck ladder, and DJ Hendawg provided the Yuletide music.

MainStreet has a couple of other holiday events coming up, including the Dec. 1 Holiday Electric Light Parade along Main Street and a Dec. 7 First Friday at various downtown locations. First Friday will have the theme “Merry and Bright,” with cookie decorating, a cocoa bar, caroling, photos with Santa and luminaria kits offered to those who stop by stores, booths or other downtown venues.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.