Pine Bluff celebrates annual Christmas Tree Lighting with important message

Mayor Washington shared encouraging words at the Community Prayer and Christmas Tree Lighting about COVID-19.

PINE BLUFF, Ark. โ€” Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington spoke about the city coming together as a community to keep each other safe at their annual Christmas tree lighting Sunday night.

The event was postponed from last Sunday due to weather conditions. 

“Christmas this year is different. I know it’s not what any of us wanted. There’s no parade, we can’t travel, and I’m encouraging you, please. It’s so important that we do everything we can to get this virus under control,” said Washington.

The crowd enjoyed special festivities, light refreshments, and photos with Santa.

Members of the faith community prayed and musical performances entertained the crowds before the countdown of the tree lighting. 

“After coming back from Thanksgiving in the last 24 to 36 hours right here in Pine Bluff, Jefferson County we’ve lost five people to COVID-19. So we have to do everything we can to stop the spread.” 

Mayor Washington offered words of hope and encouragement through the holiday season to the crowd. 

Pine Buff police passed out meals for those in attendance and the fire department pulled up with a full display. 

Deaquanita Lancelin is the program manager for the YES grant for the city. 

She decided to bring her daughter along with students as a part of the STAR program to the tree lighting. 

โ€œWeโ€™re just excited to start the new season. 2020 has been a different year for all of us. So weโ€™re just hoping that this kicks off the excitement and just brings back the happiness and joy of Christmas.โ€