Ironwood Chamber holds virtual tree lighting ceremony


November 21, 2020

Charity Smith/Daily Globe

Ironwood Area Chamber of Commerce director Mike Meyer and Ironwood Mayor Annette Burchell are among thosw who participate in an online broadcast of a ceremonial lighting of the Jack Frost Festival tree in Depot Park Thursday evening. The annual event was scaled back this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

By Charity Smith

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Ironwood - The annual Jack Frost Festival tree lighting ceremony took place Thursday night in the park next to the Historic Ironwood Depot, without all the traditional fanfare.

In years past, singers from the Ironwood Area Schools have performed carols, an organ played, and refreshments of hot cocoa and cookies were offered, according to Mike Meyer, president of the Ironwood Area Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the event. However because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony was very simple this year.

"Normally we have a couple of hundred people here, but this year it's just us and the Jack Frost tree," said Meyer as he addressed an online audience. "If we can't have lots of events, we can certainly make use of what is in out hearts as we welcome the winter season."

The ceremony, which was broadcast onto Facebook consisted of briefs speeches by Meyer and Ironwood Mayor Annette Burchell, along with the lighting of the tree. Fewer than 20 people were physically present for the festivities.

"This year it is so different. This worldwide pandemic is forcing us to pause and change the ways we navigate and celebrate this holiday season," Burchell said. "This isolation and economic slowdown reminds us of the most important aspect of this season - giving."

She asked residents, in this season of gift giving to support local food pantries, Santa's Headquarters, and local businesses, if they could, for "every dollar spent locally trickles down throughout the community."

"May the warmth and light that emanates from this tree reflect the generosity of spirit of our community," Burchell said.


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