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St. Andrews is bringing Christmas cheer to the community with a 20-year-old tradition

Published: Nov. 27, 2020 at 9:53 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) - One popular tradition has St. Andrews looking like a Christmas wonderland.

“It started out as just a little tree. You know, some neighbors got together and thought ‘oh, we’re just going to put a little tree in a park and it’ll be nice’ and it’s just grown into this,” said Barns-Tapscott.

The Historic St. Andrews Waterfront Partnership Executive Director Lisa Barnes-Tapscott said after Hurricane Michael blew down their original 25-foot tree, a local nursery donated a new tree in 2018. It was the focal point of Friday night’s official tree lighting at Oaks by the Bay Park. Hundreds showed to take in the sights. Friday night’s event was the first time since Hurricane Michael that the entire park has been illuminated and even the tiniest event-goers agree it’s spectacular.

“We like to see all the lights...and hot cocoa,” said one little boy.

“That you get to see the most beautiful Christmas lights and you get to enjoy time with your family,” said a little girl.

Barnes-Tapscott said they’re happy they can give back to the community after this tough year.

“I hope it brings peace to families. That they have a place they can go enjoy the lights, be outside and not have to worry about being inside with a mask,” said Barnes-Tapscott.

During the most wonderful time of year, Barnes-Tapscott said they hope everyone sees what a wonderful place St. Andrews is. If you missed the tree lighting Friday night, the lights will be on every single night through the New Year.

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