It was not just another lighting of a Christmas tree, but rather an entire afternoon of celebration bringing home a holiday tradition on Saturday, Dec. 1 in Mexico.
Emily Hercules, from the United Credit Union, talked about how businesses and community members made donations to help in the UCU’s efforts in relocating the tree from the former AP Green location across the street to the branch in Mexico.
Hercules said, “The lighting of the tree has been a Mexico tradition for years, dating back to 1969 when it all began. On behalf of United Credit Union, we are blown away by the response we received from the community when we announced we would be returning the tradition. Not only did we have the honor of reading the comments on our Facebook page about how grateful you each are for this tradition coming back, but also the generous donations we received from multiple businesses and individuals to help make this possible. The tree you see now stands approximately 60 feet tall, with 60 strands of lights. Lighting the tree are approximately 6,900 LED light bulbs. By using the LED bulbs, we have not only made the tree brighter, but more efficient, costing less than $1 per day to run the lights. The wreaths you see in all of United Credit Union’s windows are the original AP Green wreaths that used to hang each year.”
The United Credit Union hosted a busy afternoon of activities that led up to the Christmas Tree Relighting Ceremony.
The day began at noon with Miss Missouri Katelyn Lewis getting things started and singing “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” followed by Miss Zona Rosa singing,”I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”
At 12:30 p.m., “Voices of the Future” sang choice spirituals and Christmas tunes followed by their very own children’s choir singing a few select tunes of their own including, “Oh Christmas Tree.”
The Burney Sisters, Olivia and Emma Burney, performed on stage from 1-3 p.m. various songs and musical selections. These young ladies are singers, performers, songwriters, and are managed by April Burney, their mom. They performed holiday classics, songs they themselves had written, and displayed a mastering of both voice and instrument. Grady Frazier took to the stage from 3-4:30 p.m. illustrating his own mastery of voice and guitar. Grady illustrated and explained the operation of a musical device that was a device the Burney Sisters had incorporated in their performance called a “Looper.” Grady also explained the uses of other foot controlled pedals he incorporated into his sound among his many musical numbers. Grady is the son of Jeff Frazier, who is involved with the Eastern Missouri YMCA project located in Vandalia.
Before the Christmas Tree Relighting Ceremony, a Recognition Ceremony was held with presentations and video to give thanks and respect to all who had played a part in bringing home this Christmas Tradition again. Storm clouds moved in making the sky dark and began a light mist in the air. It was decided to light the tree slightly ahead of schedule.
The lights began slowly to shine growing to all their glory against the stormy skies approaching after a countdown.