Tree lighting is Friday evening in Downtown Salisbury

 

The annual tree lighting ceremony, a formerly popular gathering that faded away, then was revived three years ago, will offer new and favorite events this year.

Planned for 5 p.m. Friday on the Downtown Plaza, it will feature, for the first time, Children’s Holiday Crafts, where little ones can fashion Christmas ornaments from buttons.

For the second year, there will be a wreath decorating contest. Those who buy a wreath in advance, for $30, will have it delivered. Each wreath will be individually decorated at home,  then photos of them will be posted on Facebook. The photo that receives the most likes will be declared the winner.

The successful wreath artist will win a $25 gift card from Main Roots Coffee, said Scott Malone of Farmers Insurance, the company that is sponsoring the tree lighting.

To buy a wreath, call 443-210-2883.

Malone resurrected the tree lighting, which used to be held every year on the Plaza before being  discontinued, because he remembered how much he and his family enjoyed it when he was a boy.

His father, Gene Malone, who worked for M&T Bank on the Plaza, sponsored it decades ago.

Now his 2-year-old will enjoy it, and, next year, a new baby, who’s due in April.

Santa will be inside First Shore Federal from 6:30 to 9 p.m. A food truck will sell hot dogs, sandwiches, chicken tenders and French fries.

The band The Home Malones will present Christmas music. Elementary school choirs will sing and students from Feet of Fire dance academy will perform.

Last year, 1,500 people were there to see the huge tree, donated by P&J Tree Farm, be lit into radiance.

“It’s very nostalgic for me,” Malone said.

“My dad used to run it. I remember his bank was on the Plaza. He used to go with my two brothers and my mom and me. We would go hang out in his office in the afternoon and then we would all go outside to watch the tree lighting. They had food and hot chocolates,” Malone said.

“I want to recreate that type of event for my family. And we’ve been able to do that.”

 

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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