Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins, second from right, and Maywood Trustee Michael Rogers, center, stole the show during Friday’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Maywood. Below, elected and village officials pose in front of the tree after it was lit Friday evening. || Shanel Romain/Village Free Press
Friday, December 2, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Hundreds braved the sub-40 degree weather Friday evening for some holiday fun, which included carols, dramatic skits, monologues, readings and — to top it off — the lighting of a sizable spruce tree donated by Maywood resident Lawrence Sparks.
The Dec. 2 event, held in front of the 5th Ave. Metra station, was organized by Tywanna Rand, a member of the Maywood Environmental and Beautification Commission.
The event featured numerous special guests, including Pastor Elliot Wimbush of First Congregational Church of Maywood, who will lead participants in carols; storytelling by Kim Davidson; face painting; the Proviso East drama team and band; the Second Baptist children’s choir; and more.
But it was Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins, dressed in full regalia as Mrs. Clause, and Trustee Michael Rogers, dressed as Santa, who may have stolen the show.
“This is just a joyous event,” said Assistant Village Manager David Myers. “We hope to have this annually.”
__ More after the photo __
Tywanna Rand, a member of the Maywood Environmental and Beautification Commission, who organized Friday’s tree lighting ceremony. | Shanel Romain/Village Free Press
Myers and Trustee Henderson Yarbrough said that this was the first time the village hosted a tree lighting ceremony in at least several years.
“The last time we did this, the tree was much smaller and was over by the [Fred Hampton Aquatic Center] pool,” Yarbrough said. “It’s a good idea and the involvement of the beautification commission is really important.”
Commission member Loretta Brown said that Maywood deserves to enjoy what other municipalities savor during the holidays.
“Other villages do Christmas tree lightings and so our village deserves one, too,” Brown said, before commending Rand for pulling off the holiday event. “We’re going to decorate the train station as well, so we wanted the tree near that area. It’s right on a main thoroughfare, so a lot of people in the village will get a chance to see it.”
In addition to members of the Maywood Board of Trustees and village officials, state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch (7th) and District 209 school board member Teresa Kelly were also in attendance.
“I’m just happy to be here,” said Kelly. “This is the first time I can remember that we’ve had something like this. It’s just good to see Proviso’s band and drama team participating, too. It’s a community affair.” VFP
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