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Nation’s oldest tree-lighting ritual thrives in Perkasie


Perkasie Borough continues its long-standing holiday tradition on Saturday, Dec. 4, when the town hosts the nation’s oldest community tree-lighting ceremony.
Even a global pandemic could not halt the tradition in 2020, when the town pivoted to create and stream a well-received virtual tree-lighting event last December.
Perkasie’s Tree Lighting Ceremony was officially recognized as the oldest in the U.S. in 2015, when it was read into the Congressional Record by U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick; the ceremony began in 1909 and is now in its 112th year.
Families can expect to come together again in 2021 for a traditional evening out, with holiday music, food and fun. The event opens at 5 p.m. with Perkasie Mayor John Hollenbach and his annual reading of “T’was the Night Before Christmas.” Carols and holiday music from the Pennridge South Middle School Choir and the Central Middle School a capella group will be followed by rocking holiday music from Mike Greer & Co.
Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus arrive on a Perkasie Electric Truck to light the Christmas tree at 7 p.m. One lucky child will be chosen to climb on the stage to help Santa light the tree; bring a nonperishable food item for Pennridge FISH to enter the drawing.
“We’re delighted to welcome our community back to Perkasie. Our town center stores, everyone who serves on Borough Council and, of course, Santa – we are all excited to host this exciting community event in person again” said Aaron Clark, chair of Perkasie Borough Council’s Economic Development Committee. “This is truly a magical family evening out.”
Families are welcome to take photos with Santa in the RE/MAX440 building at 7th and Market streets, and will find more photo ops with Belle & Beast and at the Bloom Flower Company display on 7th Street.

Aerial acrobatic performances and routines from the Pennridge Cheer Team, wandering carolers, musicians, food vendors, free horse and carriage rides, ballerinas in store windows, giveaways from event sponsors, and shopping and dining specials, round out a very special evening.
Perkasie is full of holiday cheer over the Tree-Lighting weekend. The Perkasie Towne Improvement Association presents First Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 3. Doug Kramer’s Nostalgic Holiday Train Display will be on view at the Perkasie Electric Building at 120 N. 7th St. from noon to 8 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday. The Perkasie Historical Society on West Walnut Street will host a “Polar Express” themed story time (4 p.m.) and “Christmas in Perkasie” display from 3 p.m. on, on Saturday.
Families can catch Santa on Friday night as he makes his rounds of Perkasie neighborhoods and again on Saturday afternoon when everyone rides for free at the historic Carousel at Perkasie’s Menlo Park.
“Families can enjoy a really festive holiday weekend in Perkasie” said Linda Reid, the borough’s community development manager. “There is so much happening. We’ve listed these events on the Tree-Lighting page of our website.”
The Tree-Lighting event and all the free fun for families would not be possible without the support of our major sponsors: American Heritage Federal Credit Union, Gilmore & Associates and The Gutter Guys. Perkasie Borough also wishes to thank Thrivent Financial and Laurel Abstract for their support.
For information, visit Questions to 215-257-5065 or