Continuing a Christmas tradition

Local residents gathered last week to watch the lighting of the huge Christmas tree in front of the Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative headquarters on Main Street in Pickens for the 37th year in a row. As part of the ceremony, a new plaque explaining the history of the tree was unveiled. “The Deodar Cedar that stands in front of the Blue Ridge Headquarters in Pickens has been lit in recognition of the Christmas season for over 50 years,” the plaque reads. “This large conifer was spared the bulldozer’s blade during the construction of the Pickens Office in 1953. When Charles E. Dalton became President and CEO in 1982, he began the tradition of holding a tree lighting ceremony to bring the Pickens Community together during the holiday season. This tree has become a main stay at Blue Ridge Electric and in the Pickens community as a whole.” At right, current Blue Ridge president Jim Lovinggood and his wife, Denise, pose alongside the plaque with Dalton and his wife, Libby. Dalton, who retired in January, had the honors of lighting the tree this year. Photos by Karen Brewer/Courtesy The Christian View magazine