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Tree Lighting Ceremony at Payroll Plaza- Bethlehem, Pa. You could feel the excitement building in the air as everyone from the community arrived for the annual tree lighting ceremony. The tree lighting ceremony began in Bethlehem on December 24,1741 and was the first tree to be lighted in the USA. There were volunteers handing out cookies and hot chocolate. The Freedom High School Patriot Band opened the ceremony , with a few Christmas tunes. The Honorable Bob Donchez , Mayor of Bethlehem opened the ceremony, he was joined by 5 children who later helped him flip the switch and lighted the City of Bethlehem Christmas tree. A few of the nights events included a Blessing and prayer given by Reverend Dan Miller of Edgeboro Moravian Church, A solo performed of O Holy Night by Luke Digiacinto a senior from Moravian College. There was an outstanding choral presentation performed by St. John’s A.M.E. Zion Church Choir . There were a few community sing alongs with the crowd led by the choir and Luke, including Deck the Halls and Silent Night. Also performing were Dexperience, and Cunningham and Associates. Lynn Collins Cunningham Presented an award for the 2016 Christmas Seal designed by artist Bill Jones, he also received a cash award from the contest. By the end of the evening everyone was filled with excitement as Santa Clause arrived by fire truck. The crowd was jolly and playful. I almost felt like I was in time square by the end of the events as several hundred community members had joined in. The weather fully cooperated and Ed Hanna from 69 News was on hand to help along the festivities and highlight of the tree lighting live on air. A wedding couple arrived and danced to the music as they celebrated their nuptials with the crowd.