WJHL will host a virtual lighting ceremony for the Christmas in the Park celebration and King Commons tree at 5 p.m. on Friday.

According to a press release from organizers, the virtual ceremony will be available at wjhl.com or during the newscasts between 5-7 p.m. Christmas in the Park trees will also be featured throughout December.

The Christmas in the Park celebration will occur Dec. 5-Jan. 1 in Founders Park.

The event is presented by the Blue Plum Organization in partnership with the city of Johnson City and BrightRidge Broadband and with the support of Town View of Johnson City, the Johnson City Area Chamber of Commerce, Shamrock and WJHL. It will feature 65 holiday trees, each decorated by a local business or nonprofit organization.

There is no admission charge for the Founders Park event. Organizers encourage guests to follow appropriate safety guidelines, such as wearing cloth face coverings and practicing physical distancing. Directional arrows will be placed to guide visitors through the park.

The event is being held in lieu of the annual Johnson City Christmas Parade, which is not taking place this year because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Awards will be provided for first, second and third places. Those who visit the park will have the opportunity to vote for the People’s Choice Award. More information is available at www.jcchristmasparade.org/.

“This is the first year Blue Plum has held an event like this and we could not be more pleased with the response from the community,” Jennifer Clements, a member of the Blue Plum Organization and organizer of Christmas in the Park, said in a press release. “Founders Park will be a wonderful place where our community can safely gather to reflect on the season and view the festive lights while we celebrate the many stories of businesses and organizations that make our community such a wonderful place to live, work and play.”

From staff reports