Lighting of the Tree Ceremony

photo by Kelly Lincoln

by Greg Lincoln

Last week on Friday, the community of Bethel came together to celebrate the Lighting of the Christmas Tree. Local dignitaries, organization members, community members, children, and students came together to commemorate the holidays with this event.

The tree is located in Dillon Park, across from the Bethel Courthouse. It may not be Rockefeller Center, but it is our community’s very own.

Bethel City Manager Pete Williams did the honors of plugging in the tree and then there was light.

“Wow,” said Williams. The lights were beautiful and nostalgic, evoking images of Christmas past. The first tree lighting took place in 2018.

Folks enjoyed hot chocolate while they socialized, kids played in the snow, and everyone had a good time.

This year one of our local elementary schools – Ayaprun Elitnaurvik – was chosen to represent Alaska for the National Christmas Tree

Ayaprun Elitnaurvik was one of two schools selected to represent the State of Alaska on this year’s White House Christmas Tree. Six ornaments designed and created by Ayaprun Students representing our region and culture were hung. What an amazing honor. The event was televised on CBS and aired on Dec. 5th. Good job everyone.

Thank you to the organizers of this event. Last year we skipped the ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic so we are happy to see it come back this winter. Quyana and Merry Christmas!