San Pedro hosts annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

San Pedro Town officially welcomed the Christmas season at their annual ‘Lighting of the Christmas Tree,’ ceremony held on Sunday, December 3rd. Shortly after 6PM, hundreds of island residents flocked to Central Park to witness the ceremony that brought much Christmas spirit.
Officiating the ceremony was Miss San Pedro 2017-2018, Virginia Vasquez, who welcomed everyone to the celebration. The occasion saw a line-up of cheerful presentations by students from various schools on the island.
Giving the official remarks was Mayor Daniel Guerrero, who thanked everyone for attending the traditional festivity. “When we turn on the lights on this beautiful Christmas tree, we will be sending the message of love, joy, and peace,” said Guerrero. “At this moment all over the world, we are all looking forward to peace. Christmas is a time when we all come together to share and care especially for the needy and the less fortunate and who are ill and hungry. We need to be there for them not only for Christmas but every single day.” Guerrero then led the countdown that set aglow to thousands of colorful lights that illuminated the tall Christmas tree.
Next, on the microphone was Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Honourable Manuel Heredia Jr., who shared some words with the attendees. Heredia expressed that Christmas was a time to give receive and be united. “This is the time when we should be together like a real family for the well-being of our beautiful island and our country Belize,” said Heredia.
Before the formalities wrapped up, Lady Dixie Bowen was invited to share a few remarks with the crowd. She gave a brief history of the Christmas tree, which has been sponsored by Bowen and Bowen for the past years. She recalled that after visiting her daughter in Italy some years ago during Christmas, her husband, the late Sir Barry Bowen, was impressed with the Christmas decorations around the city. According to her, that is where the idea came up for getting a Christmas tree for San Pedro.

Afterwards, students from Holy Cross Anglican School, The Island Academy, The San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School and La Isla Bonita performed presentations including dances, Christmas carols, and a musical act.
At the end of the celebration, the Pandemonium Steel Band from Belize City entertained everyone with harmonious instrumental Christmas songs, while fireworks show lit up the night sky. The San Pedro Town Council also treated children to cupcakes and refreshments.

The San Pedro Town Council gives thanks to Lady Dixie Bowen for the wonderful Christmas tree, Guillermo Rodriguez for setting up the tree and lighting, all participating schools who performed, and the Pandemonium Steel Band.

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