Kettering kicks off the holiday season with Mayor’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony


Photo background at the 2021 Kettering tree lighting event - Todd Elzey

Kettering, Ohio – On Friday, December 3, 2021, it felt a lot like the holiday season at Lincoln Park Commons as the City of Kettering held its Mayor’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The event was well attended by the community with people lined up about 7-8 deep to see the festivities.

The festivities kicked off with the Kettering Children’s choir singing Christmas carols for the assembled crowd. The choir consists of 13 children 8 years old and older. The Kettering Children’s Choir is an educational program designed to educate young singers in vocal techniques. The choir is known throughout Ohio as a premier vocal ensemble and choral school.

Channel 2 meteorologist Jamie Jarosik at the 2021 Kettering tree lighting ceremony - Todd Elzey

Following the Children’s choir's opening concert, the evening’s master of ceremonies, Channel 2’s Jamie Jarosik introduced Mayor Don Patterson. 2021 was Patterson’s final tree lighting ceremony because he is retiring after 16 years as Kettering’s Mayor. Mayor Patterson spoke of the tree lighting ceremony being one of his favorite Kettering events. In recognition of his retirement, Patterson was presented with a framed picture of the tree, and he was unable to get through his remarks without getting a little emotional at this being his final tree lighting.

Kettering Mayor Don Patterson looks at the framed picture he received during the 2021 Kettering tree lighting - Todd Elzey

Patterson also introduced the current and incoming Kettering City Council Patterson then thanked all the people who work behind the scenes to make the Kettering tree lighting ceremony a success. And of course, Patterson also thanked the Kettering Children’s Choir for their continued participation and wonderful performances.

Kettering Mayor Don Patterson gathers children for the 2021 tree lighting countdown - Todd Elzey

After all of the formalities were completed, Patterson brought Assistant City Manager Steve Bergstresser’s and Jarosik’s children to the microphone to lead the audience in the tree lighting countdown. Patterson said in his remarks that the 2021 park light display contained nearly 9 miles of lights and that for his final year he wanted the loudest countdown ever. He even quipped that if it wasn’t loud enough, everyone would have to start over. Fortunately, the kids he asked to lead the countdown were quite enthusiastic and got the crowd counting down loud “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, light the tree” and Kettering’s large Christmas tree and nearly 9 miles of Christmas lights lit the night at Kettering Lincoln Park Commons.

Kettering's lit Christmas tree at Lincoln Park Commons - Todd Elzey

But the tree lighting ceremony was just the beginning of the night’s festivities. There were two ways to view the lights that were strung around Lincoln Park. Of course, you could walk around the park and amongst the lights to view them. This was a great way to take in all of the details of the various light displays. But if you were looking for a broader perspective that required less exercise, you could also take the horse-drawn carriage ride that went around the entire perimeter of the park.

A carriage ride around Kettering's Lincoln Park during the 2021 Kettering tree lighting ceremony - Todd Elzey

While the night was pretty warm for December, the event also featured cookies and hot chocolate. You could also walk around the park taking pictures with your dog as part of Kettering’s Santa Paws event.

Visitors enjoy the lights at the Kettering tree lighting ceremony at Lincoln Park Commons - Todd Elzey

In the end, fun was had by all. If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend a Kettering tree lighting ceremony, I highly recommend you consider attending next year’s ceremony. One of the most festive parts of the night was watching the joy and wonderment on young children’s faces as they watched the lighting of the tree, strolled through the park with parents looking at all the lights, and interacted with the many dogs residents brought with them to the ceremony. It was a great reminder of the real purpose and magic of the holidays, spreading joy and happiness.

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