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Walton EMC Powers a Holiday Tradition

Every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, thousands gather at Snellville’s Towne Green for a festive ceremony to light the community Christmas tree. The tradition signals the official start of the holidays for many Gwinnett County families.

“It’s like a guiding light for the community — a beacon for the holidays,” Snellville Mayor Barbara Bender said about the dazzling display that is powered by electricity from Walton EMC.

The first official tree lighting ceremony occurred in 1982. Former city council member Elise Cotter is credited with organizing the event.

The attraction brings many families to the city’s Towne Green throughout the holiday season.

“We see people at the tree making photos almost every day, so I think it must appear in a lot of Christmas cards,” said Kelly McAloon, executive director of Experience Snellville, the city’s tourism and trade promoter.