North Adams' holiday tree lighting will have a different look and feel this year, I have been to the tree lighting for so many years, the band playing holiday tunes and the chorus singing, hot cocoa and cookies, all the families coming down to Main street, so many smiles on the children's & adults faces and of course Santa and Mrs. Claus. All wonderful memories.

This year the annual event, which kicks off the holiday season in the city, will be held virtually beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25.

The Town of North Adams is asking that instead of gathering downtown, community members join the celebration by tuning into a special broadcast event in order to limit public gathering as part of the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Iberkshires.com reports that the virtual tree lighting event will be broadcast on Northern Berkshire Community Television (NBCTC) channel 1301 and live-streamed on iBerkshires.com.

Mayor Thomas Bernard will kick off the event with an in-studio holiday message, joined by a special guest. Wonder if it will the Jolly Old Man Himself SC?

Afterward, the ceremonial switch will be thrown, lighting up the holiday trees and Main Street. Following the tree lighting, local favorite Rebel Beat Sound System will spin holiday music to lift everyone’s spirits.

Mayor Bernard said:

"The public health guidance is clear and consistent — public gatherings, whether indoors or outdoors can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu. A virtual celebration lets us all see and enjoy the spectacle of lighting up our downtown while ensuring social distancing and safety for everyone. It also allows family and friends who are unable to travel this year to get a taste of hometown North Adams spirit by tuning into the live stream event."

So many people make this a special event and this year is no different. A huge Virtual hug and thank you to Beth and Marcus Webb of Windsor for donating the tree at hanks to the top of Main Street, and to Debbie Sullivan of North Adams for donating the tree at City Hall in memory of Elizabeth Lavigne Patterson.

Thanks also to the city Department of Public Services, Wire & Alarm, and the Fire and Police departments for getting the trees downtown and set up, as well as to National Grid, Arbortech Tree Co., Atlantis Equipment, and Moresi & Associates for their assistance in the tree installation. They always do an awesome job!

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