Civic Park celebrates annual tree-lighting ceremony, a symbol of resurrection and hope

FLINT, Michigan—It was below 30 degrees on the Civic Park Centennial Pavilion and the snow had started to fall, but this did not stop the crowd from congregating around the outdoor bonfire and singing Christmas carols, as they waited for the official lighting of the tree.

Over 500 people gathered for the 10th annual Holiday Walk on Tuesday evening, Dec. 10 at the Urban Renaissance Center at 2505 N. Chevrolet Ave.

“For some kids, this is the only Christmas they will have, and we strongly believe in giving back to the community,” said Robert McCathern, founder of the Urban Renaissance Center.

All who attended enjoyed raffles, refreshments, professional family portraits, arts and crafts, mindfulness activities, storytelling, photos with Santa, toy giveaway for all children, and Christmas carols around the newly planted tree.

“I know Applewood has one on the other side of town, but this is our first real Christmas tree in our neighborhood and it shows that we are trying,” said Flint resident Jonleea Phelps, 21, who has turned these annual events into a family tradition. “Some kids don’t get the option of picking out multiple quality gifts for the holidays so it's nice that we get to look forward to these events every year.”

This event was made possible by The Urban Renaissance Center, Joy Tabernacle, University of Michigan-Flint, and Ruth Mott, Applewood.

“This is my first year coming, but I’m glad I got a chance to bring my two grandkids who live in this neighborhood; they will remember this for a long time,” said resident Brian Knight.


Read more articles by Anna Mansfield.

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