Downtown Greenville Christmas tree shines bright

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GREENVILLE – After getting stuck on a couple of streets, using heavy machinery and crews of people to get it lifted and placed, downtown Greenville’s Christmas tree is up and lit! 

Eric Fee helps to organize the setting up of our downtown Christmas tree. His excitement for the tree and Christmas spirit brings out the best in the community as they come together to bring a beautiful Christmas symbol to downtown Greenville. 

“I don’t care what’s going on; this is my favorite time of year,” Fee said. “It’s a labor of love. I love this.”

Fee started this tradition three years ago, dedicating the first tree to his mother, who had a strong love of Christmas. 

“My mom always loved Christmas and bringing people together,” Fee said. “She had to have a big house because she didn’t want anyone to go anywhere else. She loved Darke County and Greenville.” 

Excitement rippled through the community as the tree was put into place Monday morning. 

“It’s wonderful, isn’t it?” Mayor Willman said. “All these people, it’s amazing. When it really comes down to it, there are so many people who love to help do this.” 

Throughout the week, crews spent their days decorating the tree to prepare for the lighting following the Hometown Holiday Horse Parade. 

“I can’t think of a better way to kick off the Christmas season than with the horse parade and this tree lighting in downtown Greenville,” Commissioner Combs said. “The tree is phenomenal this year. It was quite the act of maneuverability to get this thing downtown. So, thanks to all the staff and all the donors that made it possible. I hope everyone enjoys it for this holiday season.”

 After seeing beautiful horses stroll downtown Broadway in the parade, a large crowd surrounded the tree to watch as it lit up beautifully, marking the beginning of the Christmas season here in Greenville.

“What an awesome Christmas tree, what an awesome night for this 20th annual Horse Parade, and what a great job, everyone,” Jeffery Whittaker said. “I’m glad everyone got to come out and have a wonderful, marvelous time here.” 

When finding someone to dedicate the tree to, they look for a person who is involved in the community and a lover of Christmas. This year’s tree is dedicated to Duane “Lum Edwards. 

Not only was Edwards a lover of Christmas who dressed up as Santa every year, but he also did a lot for the community. While he was known for being an announcer, Edwards was on the board of directors with the Cancer Association of Darke County, volunteered as a poll worker for the Board of Election, helped with the Darke County Fair Election, volunteered for Darke County Solid Waste, and was a founding member of the Keep Darke County Beautiful group.

While this is only the third year for the Christmas tree in downtown Greenville, since the fountain was put in at the circle, it brings a big and joyful crowd.

“It’s bringing the community together to celebrate the Christmas season,” Mayor Willman said.

Thank you to all the sponsors who helped make the tree lighting possible: Tribute Funeral Homes, Fitzwater Outdoor Maintenance, Turtle Creek Golf Course, Greenville National Bank, Darke Rural Electric Cooperative Inc. Howard Hanna, Sure Shot Tap House, Roof Max, JCrane, Wayne HealthCare, Reigning Cats & Dogs Pet Grooming, DJ Bonkster, StateFarm Marshall Combs, Huntington Billboards, West Branch Excavating, Wintrow Signs, aes, Treaty City Repair, McCabe Painting Service Inc, Dave Knapp, JK Custom Builder, Remedy Plumbing, and the City of Greenville.