EASLEY—Easley residents gathered at City Hall Friday night to mark the official start of the holiday season.
The City of Easley conducted its annual Christmas tree lighting on Friday night followed by the traditional parade on Saturday morning. Easley Mayor Larry Bagwell said it was a unifying experience for the community.
“It gets everybody in the spirit,” Bagwell said. “It was great for the kids. When they saw Santa come around that corner they just went after it. I think it’s a unifying experience for the whole community.”
Bagwell said the annual Christmas tree lighting is becoming more popular each year.
“This year was a little better than last year and it just keeps getting better,” Bagwell said. “We’re going to keep improving on it. I’d like to see that whole parking lot filled up eventually. It’s just a lift for the City of Easley.”
Residents gathered to hear the sounds of their favorite Christmas songs, followed by a performance from the Easley High choir. The night concluded with a visit from Santa Clause, who made it to City Hall via an escort from the Easley Fire Department.
“The choir always does a good job,” Bagwell said. “Santa Clause will be on call Friday and Saturday nights from here on in so the kids will be looking forward to that.”
Bagwell said it was a successful night for the entire city.
“We’ve got the Downtown Merchants Association working in conjunction with everybody, along with the Easley Chamber of Commerce,” Bagwell said. “We are one town and Christmas brings everybody closer together.”
“I’m really happy with the way things turned out,” Bagwell continued. “I know it might be a sad time of the year for some people, but it’s rewarding to look back at the year and think about what is good for you. This is just the kickoff to a happy and prosperous new year.”
Bagwell said it is nights like this that remind him why a small town community environment is so important.
“People look out for each other and care for each other here. That’s probably true everywhere, but I think it’s probably magnified in this town because we still have a small town atmosphere,” Bagwell said. “We’re growing, but we’ve got people that really care about this town and that’s the big thing.”
The Mayor said he was also pleased with a successful parade.
“There were about 50 or 60 units (in the parade),” Bagwell said. “That’s another thing I hope small towns never do away with. It really lets the kids get out and see some entertainment. It’s a big thing for the City of Easley and I think it will continue.”