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Dec 1, 2023

A Christmas Tree Lighting Extravaganza

As the festive season approaches, the Belize City Council is gearing up for a dazzling Christmas tree lighting ceremony set to take place tonight in the heart of downtown. The event promises to be a magical evening, ringing in the holiday spirit and bringing the community together. Starting in a few minutes, it is not only a celebration of the season but also a reflection of the unity and spirit of togetherness that defines Belizean communities during the holidays. Here at News 5, that’s what we call a Bright Side. Here’s that story.


Sabreena Daly, Reporting

There are signs when the Christmas season is nigh upon us. You can hear it in the sounds of the local Salvation Army bells. Amidst the bustling activity of streets and stores, where shoppers eagerly seize promotions and deals for gift-giving, a palpable sense of urgency permeates the air. But the start of the season in the Old Capital is signaled by one main event, the lighting of a sixty-foot Christmas tree.


Erin Garnett, Communications Manager, Belize City Council

Erin Garnett

“I mean, December first is so significant. It is basically the opening of the season and as the City Council, we want to kick off the season in the city, right? This is the sixth annual Christmas tree lighting, and we’re very excited. It’s such a big part of the Christmas season. The families really look forward to it. And we’re I mean, we put in all our effort to get it done every year.”


As the Belize City Council gears up for the much-anticipated tree lighting event, eager spectators watch in awe. This formidable task demands the use of robust equipment and human effort to erect the impressive sixty-foot tree at the Battlefield Park, while additional decorations are meticulously arranged across the area. Communications Manager Erin Garnett says, for all those who revel in the Christmas spirit, the council has many activities planned.


Erin Garnett

“We’re having our amazing display in Battlefield park this year. We’re adding a few additions. As you can see, we’re working really hard to get that done. We do have a display for the first time in digit park this year, and we will be doing some overhead lights in the overpass. So we’re really excited about that as well. As a city council, we have many initiatives. We have our tree lighting. We have Christmas in the park. We have holiday night festivals. And you know, toy distribution to underprivileged children. And this is all for us to say we’re giving back and we’re here for you. And let’s have some hope this season.”


Although the Belize City Council designates December first as the official tree lighting date, individuals vary in the timing of putting up their Christmas tree. Nevertheless, what is certain is that its presence transforms homes, creating a distinct and festive atmosphere.


Sabreena Daly

“When do you start preparing for Christmas in your household, Maam?”


Belize City Resident 1

“As the 19 passes, I start.”


Sabreena Daly

“So have you had your tree up yet?”


Belize City Resident 1

“It will be up tomorrow, the first of December.”


Sabreena Daly

“Is that the official time in your household when you always put up your tree?


Belize City Resident 1

“Yes, that is, because my grandchildren are excited to see the tree, so I always do that on the first of December.”


Belize City Resident 2

“It’s either me and my kids who will put it up together. Because to me, having a Christmas tree at your home, in your home, that’s what makes Christmas. And I think that’s the beauty of Christmas, the tree.”


Sabreena Daly

“What is the significance in your household of having the Christmas tree up during the December Christmas season?”


Belize City Resident 3

“As a Christian, it reminds you of the birth of Christ, right? I’m a Christian. Actually, that’s it. But I remember when I was growing up, it meant more toys and things like that, you know, celebration, drinking, you know, but actually right now it’s, um, as a Christian. Celebrating the birth of Christ, which means the birth of Christianity, you know.”


This Christmas tree lighting promises to offer something for everyone, from the folks hoping to enjoy the musical festivities, there will even be something for the kids and parents.


Erin Garnett

“This is gonna be an extremely amazing event. We have free cupcakes and free coca cola for the kids. We have free rum popo samples for the parents. We have live entertainment by some amazing Belizean artists. And so we’re really looking forward to it. The overall message this season for us every Christmas, as you know, every single year, every day, we always try to work on bringing families together to really, you know, fortify that family unit. And so this is another time that we really try to focus on that the family is everything for us. And it’s really about bringing some magic and some hope at the end of the year. I mean, we have gone through so many things year after year, and this is a real time for us to reflect and try to be grateful for what we do have.”


Looking on the Bright Side, I’m Sabreena Daly.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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