Cayce, SC (Paul Kirby) – The City of Cayce held its Christmas Tree lighting ceremony last night for the fortieth consecutive year. As is the case year after year, the ladies from the Woman’s Club joins with the city and its employees to put together a first-class celebration to start the holiday season.
A huge crowd had gathered as J.R. Berry, a local news anchor and the official emcee for many years, anticipated the exact moment that the switch would be flipped. While everyone waited, they enjoyed seasonal music by the Brookland-Cayce High School Band under the direction of Aaron Acord.
At 6:08 p.m., a hush fell over the crowd as WLTX went live and Berry welcomed the television viewers to the event. With the assistance of the hundreds in attendance and some choral students from the Busbee Creative Arts Academy, the last few seconds were counted down and right on cue, the tree’s lights began to light the night.
Ann Malpass, chairperson of the event for the Woman’s Club of Cayce, made some remarks. She thanked everyone for attending, spoke of the great tradition that the event was, and gave a short history of the club. She is a lady of great poise and class, and even though the night was unseasonably warm, she was dressed in her best red winter attire as if it were 20 degrees colder.
Malpass was followed by Cayce’s Mayor Elise Partin who welcomed everyone to the city and thanked her staff for making the event a reality. Each year they work harder and harder to put up endless lights, figurines, and make sure everything is just so for the guests who attend. Partin said that it simply wouldn’t be possible to have the Christmases in Cayce we’ve grown used to without the hard work of the city’s employees.
There was more holiday music from the Cayce Griffins Show Choir, remarks from Lexington County School District Two’s Dr. Dixon Brooks, and more singing from the talented children of Busbee’s chorus. District Two is an integral part of the city’s fiber and each year their students play a large part in the tree lighting ceremony.
Pastor Chet Andrews, the pastor of State Street Baptist Church, made some short, inspirational remarks before a presentation was made to the God’s Helping Hands program on behalf of all who had helped make the night possible. This event is used as a fundraiser for that organization and they are thankful for the annual boost in giving they see as a result of the tree lighting.
Eventually, when all the speeches were made, and all the lights twinkled, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus arrived and took their seats close to the side of the fire station. A long line quickly formed as children polished off the last details of their Christmas list before it was their turn to sit with Santa and make their own request.
As is the case every year, there were refreshments that included cookies and hot chocolate provided by the Women’s Club. These were enjoyed while the BC Band played more seasonal selections. In general, it was a beautiful night that was enjoyed by a crowd that swelled to well over a thousand.
The lights in the park at the Cayce municipal complex come on each night at dark. There are also many other events coming up from now through Christmas in the city and surrounding areas. For a list of all that’s happening, go to www.lexingtonledger.com and click Christmas & Holiday events under the MORE tab.