Tree lighting draws hundreds

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Lights brighten holiday spirit

By Mary Barczak
Gold Standard Staff Writer
Hundreds of people from Fort Knox and surrounding communities bundled up for the Tree Lighting Ceremony Dec. 6 and they counted themselves lucky because Mother Nature decided to hold off the rain for a couple of hours.
The 113th Army Band was on hand to play some holiday favorites such as “Jingle Bell Rock.”
Children played with glow necklaces and sipped on hot chocolate while they waited for the festivities to start.
Garrison Commander Col. Bruce Jenkins thanked everyone for attending and asked for full participation in the nightly events, but most importantly, “We’ve got to have fun tonight,” he said.
The Fort Knox middle and high school students performed Christmas favorites along with the Radcliff Junior Leadership Corps.
Maj. Gen. Jeff Smith, commander of U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox, then presented trophies to the four winners of the holiday card decorating contest.
The four categories this year were: military unit, off post civilian agency, on post civilian agency and school.
The winners were U.S. Army Recruiting Command, Meade County Chamber of Commerce, the Department of Public Works and Pierce Elementary.
“Who’s ready to light this tree?” Smith asked the crowd after the caroling.
He then selected a handful of children from the audience to help him push the button.
Guests ohhed and ahhed taking in the pretty lights just as a familiar figure in a red suit arrived.
Children then took turns visiting Santa for the rest of the evening under the glowing gazebo.