3rd Annual tree lighting in Riverton this Saturday

Depot restaurant also featuring 20-foot tree to help light the night
Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 10:18 PM CST
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RIVERTON, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -

Christmas tree lighting ceremonies have been a holiday tradition in many towns, and Riverton is no exception.

This Saturday is the 3rd annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Riverton, and an evergreen just off of Main Street is the star of the show. However the actual star topper will be placed by the Riverton Fire Department.

Program Director for R Recreation, Mary Axthelm, noted that three years ago there was a group of people serving on the city committee, and thought Riverton should have a tree lighting ceremony as well. She stated, “Casper does a great tree lighting, why can’t we do a tree lighting? We planned the first annual, three years ago, in 16 days, and it was an amazing hit. It was so fabulous and people loved it, we knew that it was a tradition we had to continue.”

Another special tradition is that families can place their own ornament on the public tree, and either donate it, or display it for the month and pick it up after Christmas.

“Bring your family ornaments, place them on the tree. We had dads with kids on their shoulders seeing how high they could get their ornaments, and it’s just so beautiful the next day in the daylight to drive by and see the ornaments twinkling on the tree,” added Axthelm.

The community engagement committee organized the event. The city put the lights up, and the Riverton Fire Department will place the star on top. Another special part of the tree lighting is that the tree is located in Jason’s Park, a memorial to a little boy who passed away at a young age.

“This whole park is part of their tribute to his legacy, and it just happened that we chose this tree and they have been involved the past two years with this event,” said Axthelm.

Right before the tree lighting, hot chocolate will be provided by a local restaurant, under the lights of another tree for the public to enjoy. The Depot restaurant will be providing the hot cocoa and the Jaycee’s club will supply cookies. A DJ from All Around Entertainment will be on site for festive music to make spirits light.

This is the first year the Depot has had a 20-foot tree on their lawn to coincide with the event. Being a historical Mexican restaurant they previously had a fountain from Mexico on their lawn until earlier this year when it crumbled. The owner thought the tree would be a good Christmas time replacement for the fountain to provide extra visibility and to bring some Christmas cheer.

“We have the best customers ever, they come and see us all year long, and I just feel like by giving some free hot chocolate out and lighting everything up so it’s beautiful, everybody can just kick off the season with a great big smile, this year we need it more than ever,” noted Depot owner Mary Jackson.

The festivities start at 5:30 p.m. this Saturday, and the tree will be lit at 6:00 p.m.

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