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Nampa celebrates holiday season with Christmas tree lighting event

A 45-foot-tall Colorado Spruce was lit up in downtown Nampa.

BOISE, Idaho — Folks flocked to downtown Nampa for an annual tradition on Saturday, as the city hosted its Christmas tree lighting event.

A 45-foot-tall Colorado Spruce came to life in front of the train depot in Nampa. A festive crowd counted down before the tree was illuminated by a lights display. After that, the colors of the bulbs glowed a traditional Christmas red and green, with colors as crisp as the evening sky overhead. 

"It's so much fun to have the community come together as we get ready to celebrate the holidays and this Christmas season," Nampa Mayor Debbie Kling said.

The tree lighting had all of the Christmas staples - caroling, hot chocolate - and, of course, Santa Claus. 

But the Christmas tree is what stole the show. It had a new LED light system that doubled the number of lights as last year's display. 

Elisabeth Gerichs of South Nampa donated the tree, which she planted in her yard in 1971. She was able to watch the tree grow for more than half a century, and now the entire community can gaze at it this holiday season.

Downtown Nampa was filled with people singing Christmas songs and gazing at the tree. But there were also a lot of people working behind the scenes to put the event on. 

"It takes a lot of work from a lot of different people, and I appreciate all the help from the people in our community and our staff that's worked all day to make today happen," Kling said. "We have new lights on our Christmas tree this year, so we trust they all work. And this is such a great way to usher in the holiday season. I'd like to wish everybody a merry Christmas and happy holidays." 

Before the lighting, the crowd sang Christmas songs, Gerichs and Kling spoke, and a pastor led the crowd in prayer. 

The tree lighting took place the same day as "Shop Small Saturday" and attendees were encouraged to support local businesses in downtown Nampa. The Nampa Farmer's Market also had a "Winter Wonderland" in Lloyd Square during the lighting.  

Come January, after people have the opportunity to enjoy the tree for the holidays, the tree will be made into mulch for Nampa's parks and trail system. 

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