PERKASIE — During the 111 years the oldest outdoor community holiday tree lighting in the nation has been held in Perkasie, changes have been made at times to adapt to current events. That will happen again this year.
"As the COVID-19 pandemic presents what might be the most serious challenge ever to holding the event, Perkasie, like communities around the world, must come up with creative solutions so the show can go on," the borough said in a release. "A concerted effort by borough staff and the Perkasie Towne Improvement Association to ensure safety has resulted in a different kind of tree lighting ceremony this year, one that may be enjoyed by families from the comfort of their own homes."
Traditional and time-honored elements of the historic ceremony will be recorded in advance and broadcast during the "Perkasie LIVE" monthly video show that will be streamed at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5.
"Viewers will be treated to Perkasie Mayor Hollenbach’s annual recitation of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” rocking holiday tunes, carols and, of course, the magical moment when Santa lights Perkasie’s tree from on high," the release said.
Residents and businesses in the borough are also encouraged to participate in the first time Community Tree Lighting Display Contest.
"The borough is inviting residents and businesses to decorate their own outside trees and join their neighbors to light up the whole community together at 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 5th," the release said.
“While COVID-19 precautions mean that we have to be careful about large gatherings this year, I think we can come together in a different way,” commented Councilman Matt Aigeldinger. “What a magical thing it would be to have all the lights in Perkasie turned on at the same moment.”
Three winning displays could win a $500 donation for a local non-profit. More information about the Community Tree Lighting Display Contest can be found at https://perkasieborough.org/our-events/tree-lightingceremony/
“Our 2020 Tree Lighting is different for sure,” acknowledged Charles Brooks, councilman and chair of the borough’s Parks and Recreation Committee. “This annual event typically draws upwards of 6,000 people to
Perkasie’s town center, and we have to make sure that we put safety first in the middle of this global pandemic. We’re proud that we are creating a tree lighting that can be enjoyed by even more people, wherever they are, and that we can preserve for posterity. Perkasie is creating history— again!”
The borough will also hold four weekends of holiday activities starting Nov. 28.
"The 'Winter Wanderland' will feature some of the activities families have come to expect at the tree lighting ceremony, including carolers strolling through the town center, horse-drawn carriage rides, live window displays and more. A sprawling outdoor holiday market, complete with food, music, and shopping specials is scheduled for Dec. 12 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.," the release said. "Aaron Clark, councilman and chair of the borough’s Economic Development Committee, asks residents and visitors to continue to visit and to shop in the borough first and that 'our continued support remains crucial for the health and survival of our friends and neighbors, who work tirelessly to keep their small business doors open as the pandemic continues.'"
More information about the schedule of Holiday events can be found at www.perkasieborough.org/ShopPerkasie or on the borough’s Facebook page.
Businesses and organizations providing financial support for this year's tree lighting ceremony include American Heritage Federal Credit Union, Grim Biehn & Thatcher, The Ram, McDonalds, Dunkin’ Donuts, Vicki Lilley Thrivent Financial, Penn Community Bank, Perkasie Dental Loft, EFE Labs, On Trac Entertainment, PBR Productions and the Perkasie Historical Society.
Information: email@example.com or 215-257-5065.