THE Swakopmund Municipality marked the beginning of the festive season by unveiling a 15-metre constructed Christmas tree in the municipal botanical garden on Monday night.
This year’s location marks a change from the traditional town centre, introducing a new holiday landmark in Namibia’s renowned holiday mecca.
The ceremony, attended by hundreds, was presided over by Swakopmund chief executive Alfeus Benjamin. Benjamin’s role in the festivities comes after an unforeseen postponement in the town’s mayoral election.
The Christmas speech and switching on of the tree was previously done by the town’s mayor, but after last week’s double tied mayoral vote resulting in the office bearers election being postponed, leaving the town without a mayor, Benjamin had to step in.
“We welcome our special Swakopmund community to this special and historical location of Swakopmund to bring joy and unity to Swakopmund’s holiday season,” Benjamin said.
The initiative for the Christmas tree, a first in this location, emerged from the need for “something unique to rejuvenate the holiday spirit” at the town.
Benjamin expressed gratitude towards local businesses for their role in the construction of the tree.
“Their dedication to give their insight has significantly contributed to this project,” he said.
As the sun set to the tune of Christmas carols, the community eagerly anticipated the tree lighting. At 20h00, with a communal countdown, the lights of the towering tree were switched on, casting a warm glow over the botanical gardens.
The event also featured a special moment for the children present, who were treated to sweets and a surprise from Business Connection.
In his speech, Benjamin extended holiday wishes on behalf of the Swakopmund municipal council, emphasising the importance of community, integrity, respect, kindness and unity.
“May this holiday season be filled with laughter, love and moments of shared joy,” he concluded, wishing everyone a safe and joyous festive season.
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