Sheri Christine remembers the cold of last year's Columbia County tree-lighting ceremony at the courthouse.
She was almost 9 months pregnant with her son, Peter, and recalls warming herself with a steaming cup of hot chocolate provided by the Vineyard Church.
"It was good, but it was cold last year," Christine said.
Christine will have a more prominent role in this year's Christmas in America ceremony, which is slated to begin at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. She is the wife of the assistant district attorney for Columbia County, Bobby Christine, who also is a captain in the U.S. Army National Guard and serving in Iraq.
Christine will be the ceremony's honorary tree-lighter, flipping the switch outside her husband's office at the courthouse in honor of all Columbia County military personnel in Iraq.
"I am excited about it," she said.
The third annual tree-lighting also will feature favorites from previous years, including a Christmas carol sing-a-long and the Columbia County Elementary School Mass Chorus directed by Niki Morse, South Columbia Elementary School's music teacher.
The event also will include more craft vendors than previous years, said Beth Roberson, county Recreation and Leisure Services special events coordinator.
Roberson said she hopes the holiday spirit will surround the event as it has in previous years.
A 2K run will be held, and organizers are encouraging participants to dress as Santa Claus or an elf. The entry fee is a toy for the Columbia County Foundation for Children.
Santa also will be there, making lists and posing for photos with children. His elves, Harlem High School drama students, will take the photos to raise money for their Scotland trip to the Fringe Festival in August.
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