Why would anyone stand around in the cold rain waiting for Christmas lights?
Two young boys carefully monitoring the proceedings of the evening summed it up quite succinctly and quite well.?“That is beautiful!,” John Mason Pitcock said.
“That’s awesome!” his friend, Joshua Krohn added.
Despite a steady, chilly rain nearly a hundred people gathered for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Tuesday in Hutchinson Square in downtown Summerville.
At first, efforts of Summerville police officers blocking off West Richardson Avenue to through traffic seemed almost pointless as the streets seemed virtually empty. Then as the grayish blue twilight gave way to darkness, groups of people ducked under store awnings along Little Main and West Richardson and gathered in covered spaces such as the patio outside Ladles. Then as the program got underway, quite a few ventured out into the park awaiting the moment when the damp dark air would transform itself into a holiday fantasyland.
The tree lighting, an annual event sponsored and organized every year by the Flowertown Garden Club, has become a much looked forward to occasion in Summerville, as evidenced by the people bundled up in rain gear and standing under umbrellas.
“Good evening and welcome -- we really appreciate all of you coming out in the rain tonight,” FGC President Vicki Burtt said. She then introduced Rev. Adriane Burgess of Bethany United Methodist Church, who gave the invocation.
Even though some parts of the program had to be tweaked – the musicians and sound equipment were under cover of the old Town Hall portico rather than out in front of the building, for example – the mood remained festive. Attendees stood in the rain – some even danced -- and sang Christmas carols with the Bethany United Methodist Church Men’s Ensemble. Event committee members wandered through pockets and groups of revelers handing out candy canes and holiday greetings.
“We can’t control the weather but as you folks have shown, we can always control the spirit,” Mayor Bill Collins said right before he flipped the switch turning on the lights and wished the crowd a happy holiday season.