From caroling choirs to roadside vendors and Dion Parson & the 21st Century Band lighting up the stage with a grand finale, residents packed into Roosevelt Park Sunday night experienced a bit of holiday magic at We From Upstreet’s 28th Annual Tree Lighting.
Event organizer Yvette Finch said the collaboration with Parson helped pull everything together, adding the final touch to the traditional musical program, which blended jazz with holiday favorites and a stunning performance of Ave Maria by Lorna Freeman Woodley.
“We’re so pleased to see the outpouring of support from the community as we start the season,” Finch said. “Community events like this truly represent the culture and history of our people. The holidays, traditionally in the territory, is a time when families gather together, whether it’s baking in the kitchen, or shopping for toys, and that’s what we’ve seen here tonight as well. It’s a big, huge family event that we really look forward to doing.”
Speakers also posthumously honored Jeremiah Lynch and Ronald “Ronnie” Lockhart for not only their contributions to the event, but to the community. Coming home after college to help with the family’s business, Bob Lynch Trucking, Lynch’s passion for music production also yielded Mega Mix Production and Mystical Lights and Sounds, which provided lights, tents and staging to events across the community – including the annual We From Upstreet Tree Lighting.
Meanwhile, through his work with community organizations like the St. Thomas Historical Trust, Lockhart was instrumental in helping the event’s venue – the Franklin D. Roosevelt V.I. Veterans Memorial Park – evolve over the years, along with a number of other downtown revitalization initiatives.
“We will forever remember them for their dedication to our organization and the roles that they played in our success,” said host Myron D. Jackson.