ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL)- For 35 years, the City of Elizabethton has been gathering downtown for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting.

The town decorates and lights a 78-foot Fraser Fir.

This year, Elizabethton native and newly crowned World Series Champion Evan Carter lit the tree.

McKeehan said Carter’s presence, as well as his importance in the community, go beyond his Major League status.

“Evan and his family, they’re great people,” McKeehan said. “Evan wouldn’t have written the bio that I did because he wouldn’t have given himself credit for all the great things that he did. He’s a great kid. We’re happy they’re a part of our community.”

The city issued a proclamation before the tree lighting, declaring November 18 as Evan Carter Day.

Following the Tree Lighting, a special parade of champions was held. The parade aimed to honor Carter and the Betsy Band.

The band was recently named back-to-back state champions. McKeehan said the parade, organized by the city and Elizabethton City Schools, added something special to the event.

“They did a wonderful job to honor the back-to-back Betsy Brand, the state championship, and Evan Carter,” McKeehan said. “They put it on, did a wonderful job adding to the tree lighting ceremony.”

Overall, the Tree Lighting and Parade is a chance to bring the city together.

“Times are tough these days,” McKeehan said. “The world is kind of crazy, and for us in our small town to come out and just love on each other and just be a part of an event like this, it’s just a great night.”