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Keene Library Christmas Tree

Keene Memorial Library in Fremont will use a new metal tree this year for its Tree of White Lights lighting on Thursday. The tree was provided by an anonymous donor who was concerned about the weather's effects on the old pine tree.

Keene Memorial Library’s annual Tree of White Lights ceremony will return but with a different kind of tree this year.

“I know we had problems with our tree last year with the wind damaging the lights,” youth services library assistant Sonia Vanderworth said. “So the decision was made to go ahead and try to find a sturdier tree.”

The event will light up a new metal tree located north of the ceremony’s old pine tree at 7 p.m. Thursday. It is co-sponsored by The Digg Site Productions.

The ceremony will feature treats for the public and crafts for children. It will also feature a performance from the Fremont Middle School Honor Choir.

Laura England-Biggs, youth services librarian, said the new tree came from an anonymous donor who takes care of the tree-lighting mechanism every year.

Last year, England-Biggs said the ceremony had trouble with wind and rain affecting the pine tree usually lit up by the library.

“She just thought that it would be better to try an artificial construct more like what they do at 90th and Dodge than to continue putting the real tree through that much stress every year,” she said.

Despite the change of tree, England-Biggs said she’s still looking forward to the event.

“It’s just gorgeous,” she said. “I can’t wait to see it lit.”

This year is Vanderworth’s second year of being involved in the ceremony. She said she loved getting to watch so many people in the community come together as one last year.

“It was just so beautiful to see everybody coming in and talking and saying, ‘I haven’t been the library in a while, this is great,’ and then seeing them come back again,” Vanderworth said. “That is what made me really happy.”

England-Biggs said she hopes people come and enjoy the tree-lighting ceremony together, since it’s a part of the community with them.

“It’s meant to bring happiness to people, and we’ll have lots of sugar to make them happy with cocoa, coffee and cookies,” she said. “So it’s a triple feat.”

Vanderworth said anything that can bring the community together in a family friendly way is important for the public to be a part of.

“I love watching everybody get excited for it and I just love being in a place where we get people to come in and just visit with us and just use the library,” she said. “I love that, and it’s just terrific.”

The original story was edited to clarify the event sponsor.

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