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Gazette and Bulletin: December 26, 1918 – Many Saw the Tree Lighted

Williamsport’s community Christmas tree celebration Tuesday evening was a great success in spite of the inclement weather. The tree had been repaired and rebuilt it is now one of the most symmetrical the city has had, and the lighting is so perfectly placed that the illumination is splendidly balanced and the effect beautiful.

In spite of the rain there was a goodly audience present when Mayor Hoagland, at the request of the Civic Club’s request, turned on the current and there was a blaze of light through the branches of the big tree that caused the people present to spontaneously break into applause. The exercise opened outside at the tree and moved inside to the big courtroom.

The program opened with a selection by the Repasz Band after which the tree was lit. Mayor Hoagland turned the switch. The invocation was followed by the singing of Christmas carols by the entire assemblage and led by Clyde Harer and the War Singers, in this first Christmas of peace after the war in Europe.

Rev. Charles Leonard was the speaker for the evening and addressed an audience which filled the big courtroom. His subject was “Victory” and attired in his uniform, which he wore a few days ago in France, where he was engaged in YMCA work, he gave such an insight into what the present victory meant that the audience regretted that he did not continue to speak longer.

The program closed with the singing of “America” sung by the audience, with the Repasz Band leading.