Cecil Whig - - WE ATHE R -

Gil­bert Light­house pav­il­ion in the town’s com­mu­nity park, where the North East Mid­dle School band was sta­tioned to play as­sorted Christ­mas tunes. They played for about 10 min­utes be­fore McKnight came on­stage to wel­come at­ten­dees to the tree light­ing.

“It’s im­por­tant to men­tion, too, we could not do this were it not for those men and women across the world who are sac­ri­fic­ing them­selves, their time, their tal­ent, to keep us safe,” McKnight said, be­fore ask­ing for a mo­ment of si­lence.

He then wel­comed the Rev. John Scha­ef­fer, of St. Mary Anne’s Epis­co­pal Church, to speak on the true mean­ing of Christ­mas. Be­cause Scha­ef­fer was in- stalled at St. Mary Anne’s in April, this is his fam­ily’s first hol­i­day sea­son in the area.

“We came on a very cold winter night in mid-Fe­bru­ary, in the dark of night, around 2:30,” Scha­ef­fer said. “And the next day we were warmly wel­comed by our parish, and then nicely, warmly wel­comed by our town. So we’re very ex­cited to be here.”

Shortly af­ter, McKnight took the mic again and asked the band to play the next guest’s fa­vorite song: “Santa Claus Is Com­ing to Town.”

“Hello North East, Mary­land,” Santa said af­ter emerg­ing from be­hind the pav­il­ion. “How you do­ing tonight?”


Gi­u­liana Fusco, Kaitlin Fusco and Mike Fusco take a pic­ture in front of the North East Christ­mas tree.


Margie DeBoard, who owns Book­sellers An­tiques, no­ticed a lot of peo­ple buy­ing his­tory books on Ce­cil County and else­where.

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