ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Elizabethton community gathered for a tree lighting ceremony on Saturday.
The lighting of the Fraser fir is a decades-long tradition for the city. The event previously held by the Chamber of Commerce is now sponsored by Carter County Bank.
“There were numerous people in the community that wanted to make sure that we continue this event,” President of Carter County Bank, Andrew McKeehan, said. “It means a lot to us because this is the largest Fraser fir, lighted Fraser fir in the state of Tennessee, and we wanted to make sure that we kept this thing going and make it a little better.”
McKeehan said almost 5000 light bulbs are strung around the tree. The event brought hundreds of people out.
“I think it’s a great tradition for the community just for people to get together and enjoy Christmas and the lights and all the decorations that they offer her in Elizabethton,” spectator Audrey Smith said. “It’s really a great little town to be a part of.”
It’s something the community’s been waiting for for a long time after the event was held virtually last year due to COVID.
“Our community and everyone has been through so much that it’s great to get back out here and be with everybody and kind of just take a moment to appreciate the Season,” Elizabethton Resident Justin White said.
For many, the ceremony brought a feeling of nostalgia.
“I remember coming down here as a kid and participating in this both as somebody who is up on the little stage like those kids are or just as a bystander,” White said.
Margaret Eggers, a nurse and major in the U.S. army who recently returned from Afghanistan was given the honor of lighting the tree.
If you missed the lighting but still want to get into the Christmas spirit, Elizabethton’s Christmas Parade is scheduled for Dec. 11.