Mayor Sue Murray welcomed county residents and thanked the Civic League for all they do.
"They take an active role in making us be the best we can be," said Murray.
Cathryn Ensley, Chairman of the Lights of Love program, presented contest winners from the local community schools. The top three winners in grades 3-5 and 7 and 8 read their award-winning essays to the group gathered. Kindergarten, first and second grade winners showed off their art.
Winners in the six, seventh and eighth grade essay contest are Rebecca Moore, first place, Isaac Deal, second place and Elijah Brattain, honorable mention.
Grades three, four and five winners, Anthony Rossok, first place, Ben Gellman, second place and Kate Hershberger, honorable mention, told the group what they were thankful for this holiday season.
Chamber President Matt Welker presented the Spirit of Christmas Award to Becky Bartlett from B and B Toner. This is an award presented to the local business whose holiday decorations have best captured the "Spirit of Christmas." It has been given out since 1984.
The TZ After School Enrichment Choir performed under the direction of Kathryn Dory and Geoff Price.
Everyone headed outside to watch the top three winners light the new Christmas tree planted on the corner of City Hall.
Isaac Deal's words from his essay may have best summed up the evening.
"We may not be rich in money but we are rich in love. I'm thankful for that," he said in his essay.
Past Literary Award Winners are Mark Davis and Quinn Fenlon, 2000, Zach Grammel, 2001, Courtney Pienta, 2002, Bo Walker, 2003, Nathan Eubank, 2004, Lauren Kenney and Hillary Johnson, 2005, Melanie Bittles and Cade Bailey, 2006 and Taylor Runnells and Gracie Smith, 2007.
The Lights of Love committee members this year are Cathryn Ensley, Margo Hertenstein and Laura Brentlinger.