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City of Early shares annual tree-lighting in Ricky Ray video

Steve Nash / Brownwood Bulletin
The City of Early's Christmas tree and nativity figures are pictured moments after the annual lighting of the three the night of Nov.30. The event was not held for the public because of COVID. This image is from a video made by former KTAB-TV reporter and current City of Early employee Ricky Ray.

EARLY — “Without further ado, let’s light the tree.”

In previous Christmas seasons, Early residents would have been able to hear Early Assistant City Administrator Larry McConn say those words in person at the annual lighting of the Christmas tree.

Because of COVID, there was no public lighting the night of Nov. 30.

Thanks to an upbeat 3 1/2-minute video made by former KTAB-TV reporter Ricky Ray, who was recently hired by the City of Early, the public has been able to view the lighting of the tree and other decorations. The display is on the right-of-way at the junction of U.S. 183 South and Early Boulevard, near the First Baptist Church.

The video is posted on the city’s Facebook page.

Ray was hired as the executive assistant to City Administrator Tony Aaron and McConn. He’s also working as the marketing/communication specialist for the city.

McConn speaks briefly on the video, welcoming viewers on behalf of the Early Beautification Commission, which planned the event. McConn thanks the Parks and Recreation Department and Utility Department for “dedicating their time and talent in maintaining and putting this display together for the course of the holiday season.”

McConn also thanks residents who donate a dollar on their water bills each month, which funds events such as the Christmas tree lighting.

“We’re sorry that could not have an in-person lighting this year,” McConn says on the video. “We miss having the Early Elementary School Local Vocals choir program, the Early High School marching band and all of the citizens joining us for refreshments and a lighting with Santa in the end.

“We hope that next year will allow us to get back onto that schedule. So without further ado let’s light the tree. Have a countdown from 5… 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 … “