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Celebration Pointe Tree Lighting provides a treat for Gainesville families

BY HEATHER HANNAFORD

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The 4th annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Celebration Pointe took place yesterday evening. Families were gathered together in festive outfits, awaiting the start of the holiday season. The chilly weather was perfect for a holiday gathering, with people wearing their sweaters and scarves, which is a rare event in Florida in November! The bustle of Celebration Pointe added to the feeling of holiday cheer as people lined up to buy warm drinks and treats at Le Macaron and Kilwins. 

The festivities started with an introduction by Angela Chan, the Manager of Marketing for Celebration Pointe. Then Danscompany of Gainesville took the stage with a sneak peak of their holiday show “Cinderella.” The graceful dancers delighted the audience with their exquisite costumes and elegant dancing. Danscompany of Gainesville will be performing “Cinderella” on December 9th and 10th at the Phillips Center. Tickets are $15 and children under 10 are free with a new, unwrapped toy or book. It promises to be a wonderful show!

Next up, Sean McIntosh, senior vice president of asset management, introduced the Wilson Elementary School Choir. Their enthusiastic and charming renditions of Jingle Bell Rock, Frosty the Snowman, and Winter Wonderland brought smiles and cheers from the crowd. 

After Wilson Elementary, the Sun Country Dance Company took the stage. The 10-17 dance company is part of Sun Country Sports Center. Their energetic and exciting dance numbers charmed the crowd. The first number, entitled “Believe,” was a lovely duet. Next the younger dancers performed “That’s What Christmas Means to Me.” The 11-13 dancers performed the funny and fun “Christmas Can Can,” and the Senior Class presented a fresh take on “Cool Yule.” All the dancers were wonderful and were met with joyous applause.

As the moment of lighting the 40-foot-tall tree approached, we were introduced to Cole Dooley, the Founder of the Phoebe Louise Dooley Foundation, a charity that supports research into pediatric cancer, as well as supporting families that need help with the financial strain of pediatric cancer treatments and their associated costs. Cole explained how his foundation was founded in honor of his daughter Phoebe Louise, who tragically lost her life to pediatric cancer. He brought out Dr. Brian Stover from UF Health and his patient, young Oliver, who is battling cancer.

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As Oliver took his place to light the tree, Santa Claus came out to help with the festivities. The children in the crowd could barely contain their excitement! And after a loud countdown, the tree was lit up and the crowd was invited to meet Santa. 

It was a magical night and an enchanting start to the holiday season at Celebration Pointe!

  • No stabbings or shootings in Celebration Point? Must be a coincidence?….or…..is it more like a cultural divide?

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