In a kick-off to the 2021 Christmas season, the Valley East Community Action Network is hosting a tree lighting event outside the Howard Armstrong Recreation Centre on Sunday, Dec. 5.
The event will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. and features a performance by the Chelmsford Valley District Composite School Choir, an appearance by Santa Claus and the annual tree lighting.
Volunteers from the organizing Valley East Community Action Network were on site Sunday, preparing the grounds for next weekend’s festivities, dressing it with lights and other festive decorations.
“We really want to get the Christmas spirit out here,” chair Suzanne Leblanc said. “Even if we have to do it outside, with fewer people and with masks, we just wanted to get people involved and out enjoying the spirit of Christmas.”
They’d hoped to host something much larger in scale, as they have in the past. However, the COVID-19 situation pushed them to limit this year’s event to something considered safer in the midst of a worsening pandemic.
Treasurer Michelle Labelle said the event is always an important kickoff to the Christmas season for the Valley East community as a whole.
“Especially with the pandemic, we all need something that brings a little bit of pleasure, doesn’t cost anything and is safe,” she said.
Joining the crew on Sunday were three volunteers from area schools, Alyssa Foess, James Beatty and Adrien Drolet, who were earning volunteer hours for school credit.
In an effort to spread Christmas cheer through the community as a whole, the Valley East Community Action Network also worked with municipal staff to get Christmas up for display on area hydro poles.
Those attending next Sunday’s event are asked to dress warm and wear masks.