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Tree-lighting marks season, Pearl Harbor

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POSTED: December 11, 2013 10:55 a.m.
Christie Howard/

Pembroke resident and World War II veteran Rex Waters prepares to flip the switch Saturday to light the city’s Christmas tree downtown. Saturday was also the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

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Pembroke flipped the switch on its annual Christmas celebration last Saturday, literally.

The city’s annual tree lighting ceremony took place and Pembroke veteran Rex Waters did the honors, thus allowing the city to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor at the same time.

Waters, a longtime bail bondsman and a former commander of the Pembroke American Legion post, is a World War II veteran.

City officials were upbeat about the start of the Christmas season at Monday’s council meeting at City Hall.

“We started our holiday celebrations this past week and so far it’s been extremely successful,” said Downtown Development Authority Director Sharroll Fanslau.

Fanslau said 126 people signed up at the event, and Pembroke Mayor Mary Warnell said more than 300 people attended the tree lighting and the city’s Festival of Trees, which opened Saturday at the Downtown Arts Center.

Individuals, clubs, schools, churches, organizations and businesses have their trees on display through Dec. 28.

Judges named the Pembroke Police Department’s tree the winner, with Bedingfield Pharmacy taking second and First Baptist Church’s Girls in Action taking third.

Residents can vote for their favorite tree through 2 p.m. Saturday, and a People’s Choice Award will be presented after the city’s 30th annual Christmas Parade, which takes place at 11 a.m.

Hours open for visiting the Festival of Trees vary through Dec. 28. For more information contact 653-4413.



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