Hundreds gather at riverfront for lighting of the holiday tree

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Submitted: Sat, 11/24/2012 - 3:41am
Updated: Sat, 11/24/2012 - 4:31am

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Hundreds flocked to the riverfront in downtown Wilmington for the annual tradition of lighting the holiday tree.

Folks enjoyed a performance by the Epik Jazz Trio.

At about 6:30, it was time for the big event. After two failed attempts to light the tree, the third time was the charm. Red and green lights beamed from the branches. Even Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus stopped by to spread some Christmas cheer.


  • deputy 25 says:

    I bet all the ones that dont believe in CHRISTMAS or dont want to ‘offend’ others by calling it CHRISTMAS, i wonder how many of them accept any HOLIDAY pay that happens to come to them at CHRISTMAS and EASTER time in their checks and/or get paid days off during those HOLIDAYS that come during CHRISTMAS and EASTER time????? if they dont believe in calling it CHRISTMAS/EASTER then dont accept the bonuses or paid time off during this time.

  • Southern Born says:

    I believe the Bald Cypress represents a wet body of water that could be worshipped as a swamp. I certainly do not know any Pagans, I believe that the Sith Lord from Star Wars controls the Druids, or is that Droids? I do know that many cultures and religions have worshipped trees, so im sure there are plenty of tree referencing religious ambiguities in history. with that said I can almost certainly promise you that history will reference Christains has having celebrated Christ birthday with a tree by putting ornaments on it and exchanging gifts on that day.

    So when the Pagans start a holiday they can call thier tree a Holiday Tree, but in a culture prodominantly populated with christians we will most likely, continue the age old tradition of calling our tree a CHRISTMAS TREE… so thank you for your wise words they only enlighten us to your inner light.

  • Vog46 says:

    To me it will always be a Christmas tree – and I “have faith”.
    But faith is a personal issue and although I am required by my faith to evangelize I know that I cannot impose my faith on others.
    Let the city call it what they want – it’s how we all perceive the tree – that is whats important


  • EGuest says:

    So Ms.Cacky Catlett WHY DID YOU NOT CALL IT A CHRISTMAS TREE?IS IT BECAUSE YOU WERE TOLD BY YOUR STATION TO TO WRITE holiday tree.OR IS THIS IS WHAT YOU REFER TO THE CHRISTMAS TREE NOW AS THE holiday tree.I wonder what your aunt would say about this you know the one who give you your nick name.I am very much sadden by way you are thinking now and I am thinking so would your aunt.Or is this what they teach you at the Life Community Church.

  • carl says:

    IT’S A CHRISTMAS TREE<< NOT a Holiday Tree

  • ChefnSurf says:

    From an editorial written in 1897 in the “New York’s Sun” by Francis Pharcellus Church:
    “VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds” ……

    Regardless of whether or not you believe in Christmas, Cacky, there is not, and never has been a “holiday” tree. It has always been, and always will be a “Christmas” tree because it is connected exclusively to the holiday called “Christmas”.

    It saddens me to find that you feel the need to be so Über-politically correct. I always thought that the primary obligation of a news professional started with being factually correct, not politically correct.

  • Grand Ole Party says:

    It’s a damn Christmas tree, if you can’t call it by it’s proper name then don’t bother writing about it. Why do you feel the need to cave to the liberals and fools?

  • taxpayer says:

    do you give and receive “holiday” gifts?

  • Guest CommonTater says:

    Some folks want to celebrate it yet they don’t want to give it the respect for what it is. Fools indeed….

  • Cacky Catlett says:

    Thank you for your comments as I greatly value your opinions. The city of Wilmington calls this tree the “Holiday Tree.” The information we received from the city is the information used in this story. Personally, I call it a Christmas tree and put one up in my house every year. But again, this is a city-owned tree and named by the city. I appreciate your feedback and hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    -Cacky Catlett

  • taxpayer says:

    if the City calls it a “holiday tree”. I guess this shows where the City is in terms of wanting to be politically correct. Some called it “Saffo Stadium”…yet the taxpayers had a different name. WHITELEPHANT
    W: Wilmington
    H: Holy crap!
    I: Idiots
    T: Tax-em Saffo
    E: Everyone’s not in favor
    L: Laughable idea
    E: See the previous “E”
    P: Pushed by City Council
    H: Hated by the voters
    A: Assinine idea
    N: Nuts!
    T: Take this stadium and…

  • guest8675309 says:

    You can’t say Christmas because you might offend somebody. There is no such thing as a holiday tree, it’s a Christmas tree, poor, poor journalism.

  • Das Weibstück says:

    Nordic pagans and Celtic Druids revered the evergreen tree as a symbol of everlasting life and hope for the return of spring. While other plants and trees died, the evergreen trees remained alive continually hence, they were revered as manifestations of deity.

    As a symbol of prosperity, the Druids decorated the evergreen outdoors. The Scandinavian pagans were the first to bring the decorated trees indoors and the Saxons (a Germanic pagan tribe) were the first to use candles to illuminate the trees.

    In addition to these pagan rituals, the tree is also linked to the celebration of the Winter Solstice. Pagans would celebrate the Winter Solstice and as a part of that celebration, they would decorate trees.

    Christians adopted the tradition as they did many other Pagan traditions. Call it what you want, its a tree.

  • Vog46 says:

    Nicely done Cacky.
    That’s how the city calls it – so you maintained YOUR journalistic integrity by calling it the same thing.

    You go girl……..


  • guesty says:

    We elected these idiots, so this is what we get. People get all bent up at local politicians yet they vote them back in time after time. I can’t wait for the straw that finally breaks the camels back so we can get some new leaders. The so called city manager isn’t any better yet we are stuck with him.

  • Vog46 says:

    this had more economic impact than our stadium would have had.
    Hundreds of people
    Took 3 tries to get the lights to work

    Are we sure Port City Baseball wasn’t involved in this?


  • Santa Claus says:

    What is a holiday tree? I’ve never heard of that. Is that some kind of Thanksgiving tradition? Oh wait…are you allowed to use the term Thanksgiving? Some people see Thanksgiving as a white supremacist nazi celebration. Such as this college professor:

  • not sure says:

    What is a holiday tree?

  • john says:

    what is a holiday tree.what holiday

  • Guest12345 says:

    Holiday tree? What holiday? Are they putting up a lighted tree a few months early to prepare for Valentine’s Day? Call it what it is.

  • Guest7969 says:

    CALLED A CHRISTMAS TREE! Not a holiday tree! If that offends you, then TOUGH! I venture to guess that EVERY person that Christmas offends, takes the day off and spends it with their families.

  • Guest1118 says:

    “the holiday tree”….it’s a CHRISTMAS TREE! There is no such thing as a “holiday tree”. Never has been, never will be. NO other holiday has a tree decorated with lights. NONE. Zip, zero, nada.

    Hannukah doesn’t have a tree, Ramadan doesn’t, Festivus doesn’t, Valentine’s Day doesn’t, Easter doesn’t.

    The year had many holidays, but only one has a tree; CHRISTMAS.

  • windsnake6969 says:

    I beg your pardon … but it just so happens that I have both a President’s Day tree AND a Ground Hog Day tree, both of which are decorated with lights! Thank you very much!

  • Wilmington Observer says:

    It is a CHRISTmas tree, not a “holiday tree”

    Wilmington Observer

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