On a cool Sunday evening, the residents of Fountain Hill celebrated the holiday season by lighting the borough Christmas tree along Cherokee Street, outside Borough Hall.
Borough councilperson and chair of the Borough Recreation Committee Jamie Johnson served as the emcee for the event, to which she brought her adorable puppy, Argus.
The celebration began with Johnson recognizing Borough Council, the Mayor, borough staff, firefighters and police officers, and included prayers led by local clergy as well as holiday music performed by the Broughal Middle School band and a few members of the Liberty High School Grenadier marching band who accompanied them.
Rev. David J. Kozak of Holy Ghost Parish and St. Ursula’s Catholic Church in Fountain Hill gave the invocation, during which he reminded those in attendance that Jesus came to the world to bring it light and hope; a hope that is celebrated each Christmas.
The honor of lighting the borough tree went to Jacinda Blatt, whose grandfather Norman Blatt is president of Fountain Hill Borough Council.
Then, as a caravan of borough emergency vehicles approached the area of the fire station–adjacent to where the tree stands–the crowd’s excitement noticeably increased, as Santa Claus waved to them from atop a large Fountain Hill Fire Department ladder truck.
A firefighter then escorted Santa down the side of the truck to greet the children.
Pastor Jim Ricci of the Joy Center of Fountain Hill concluded the celebration with a prayer.
In spite of just being lit, the tree lights had gone off during the festivities, as they are on a timer which will normally illuminate them when it gets dark. No one seemed to mind, but borough manager Eric Gratz hustled off to try and override the timer setting.
Meanwhile, attendees proceeded across the street to the Fountain Hill fire station for hot dogs (cooked by Mayor Michael Johnson), hot cocoa and other goodies.
Photos by Lani Goins