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Morristown shows off holiday spirit

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On a crisp December night in Morristown, a Christmas tree was lit in front of the Town Hall along Main St. Several families enjoyed cookies and hot chocolate before Santa Claus arrived to help light the tree.
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Santa helps with the countdown before Andrew Carlton flips the switch to light the Morristown Christmas tree.
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Arlene Reynolds reads “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” to a group of Morristown youth Sunday night prior to the lighting of Morristown’s Christmas tree, which stands in front of the Town Hall.

By JEFF BROWN - jbrown@shelbynews.com

MORRISTOWN — The first annual lighting of the Morristown Christmas tree could have taken place in 2017. 

Time and financial hindrances were a concern. But when city officials approached the leaders of the community-based group Morristown Matters for a 2018 celebration, it was full steam ahead.

“Morristown Matters wanted to do it last year but we didn’t have the funding and the time,” said Erin Carlton of Morristown Matters. “So when (the town) brought it to us this year, we really wanted to do this. And, together, we were able to pull it off.”

On Sunday, many families brought their children to the Morristown Fire Station to enjoy, cookies and hot chocolate and craft making. They also enjoyed story time with Arlene Reynolds, who read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

The group then walked over to Town Hall, located along Main Street in downtown Morristown, for the tree lighting ceremony.

The Morristown High School choir performed, winners of the business and residential decorating contests were announced, and Jason Little, of Gwynneville Christian Church, spoke of the true meaning of Christmas.

Santa Claus then arrived to help Andrew Carlton, who won a coloring contest for the honor of flipping the switch and lighting the tree.

Santa, with the help of a large crowd gathered around the tree, counted down from five and Carlton flipped the switch to “officially” light the tree in front of Town Hall. A second matching tree also stands in front of the fire station as Morristown and Morristown Matters works to light up the entire northern Shelby County town.

“Hopefully, in future years, we will be able to do more,” said Erin Carlton.

With it being a new event, Carlton was unsure what the attendance would be. Mild weather Sunday helped with the turnout even as the temperature dropped after sunset.

“I am super happy,” she said. “In previous years for other events, it was a struggle to get people out. Hopefully, this is a new event and it’s exciting.”