November 23, 2013 in Washington Voices

Spokane Valley Rotary cancels tree lighting at U-City

By The Spokesman-Review
File photo

Hundreds of area residents have turned out for Christmas tree lightings in the past at University City Mall in Spokane Valley.
(Full-size photo)

The lights are out.

The Spokane Valley Rotary won’t be putting up its Christmas tree this year at the old University City Mall parking lot.

“The tree was hit at least twice last year by automobiles4, and it’s not safe to put up,” said Spokane Valley Rotary president Camilla Mounts. “It needs to be welded and fixed.”

The person who has been running the annual event moved away unexpectedly this year and getting the tree fixed simply fell through the cracks, Mounts said.

“It just happened,” she said. “There’s no way we can do it this year. We just don’t have time.”

The Rotary has been hosting the event since 2003. It usually features performances by children’s choirs, an appearance by the Spokane Valley mayor and a visit from Santa.

The Solar Energy choir, which includes fourth- and fifth-graders from Sunrise Elementary, has performed at the event for years. Students were notified earlier this month that this year’s event had been canceled.

Sunrise fifth-grader Harrison Mulloy, 11, performed at the event last year. “It was really fun because of the lighting and the snow,” he said. “It was all about Christmastime and having fun.”

Mulloy said he and his fellow students were disappointed when they heard the news. “We were all really sad because we loved it last year,” he said.

Mounts promises that the event will be back in 2014 and said someone has already agreed to organize it. “We’ll figure it all out,” she said.

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