Town hosts virtual tree lighting

WINNSBORO – Following the town council meeting Tuesday evening at the Armory, council members made their way to downtown Winnsboro for the lighting of the Town Christmas tree.

In the biting night cold, they gathered around the tree with 10 or so other Fairfield County residents.

As Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce President Gene Stephens streamed the event live for folks around the county to watch, Mayor Roger Gaddy welcomed the community to join him in the virtual lighting of the tree.

“It’s been a difficult year,” Mayor Gaddy said, “and a little different with the pandemic. We didn’t have a Christmas parade as we usually do, but we’re still going to light the Christmas tree and welcome the holidays.”

He then introduced Pastor James McManus who delivered a short Christmas message about the hope and peace of the season.

“In spite of the pandemic and other bad things going on, we have hope this Christmas,” McManus told his audience, “because of what happened in Christmas past. The Prince of Peace was born to save us from our sins.”

Following McManus, Gaddy invited first responders Winnsboro Public Safety Department Chief John Seibles, Officer Walter Lamar, Sheriff’s Deputy Lt. Francine Goins, and Sgt. Anthony Tomashot to flip the switch and light the tree. They did and the several people in attendance cheered, warming the mood despite the near freezing temperatures.

With that, the group, led by Stephanie Seibles, sung the Christmas song, Silent Night.

As the program closed, Gaddy wished everyone a Merry Christmas and to be safe and healthy.

“We hope you enjoy the season with your friends and family – but not too many at one time,” he said, as everyone laughed.