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Mission residents gather at annual Holiday Lights & Delights event to celebrate Christmas season

Ready for the holidays, Mission held an event that has been a tradition in the city for years.

The annual Holiday Lights & Delights event, held last Friday night at Leo Peña Placita Park, drew Missionites from every corner of the city. Incorporating live musical performances, several food stands run by local vendors, artisanal craft stands, pictures with Santa Claus, a bicycle raffle, a live nativity and various displays of lights and inflatable creatures, the event was packed.

20181130 MissionTreeLightingKicked off with an invocation by Father Roy Snipes, the city of Mission prayed before the festivities got started.

“It’s a beautiful time in the neighborhood as we get ready for the sweet season of Christmas,” Snipes said. “As we prepare with great anticipation and appreciation to celebrate the mystery and the humble magnificence of Your birth among us, we light up our Christmas Tree, symbolizing tidings of comfort and joy for all humanity.”

Mayor Armando O’caña, council members Jessica Ortega-Ochoa and Ruben Plata and acting City Manager Randy Perez, turned on the lights for the large Christmas Tree in the park from the park’s newly-renovated amphitheater, where residents of Mission gathered before spreading out throughout the park.

“This is my first lighting of the park as the mayor of Mission, and I thank God for that, for this great opportunity to be here before you,” O’caña said. “I’m very humbled to do this.”

The mayor, council members and city manager told the people present to have fun and enjoy themselves. Ortega-Ochoa said she was proud of what Mission did to the park where the event took place.

“It’s just one of the many projects we are going to give our Missionites here,” Ortega-Ochoa said. “Be really excited for what’s to come.”

“Right now during the holiday season, I think we tend to forget to take care of ourselves, and to take care of each other,” Ortega-Ochoa added. “Please always put God and family first. God bless each and every one of you and God bless Mission.”

Plata said that Jesus was the reason for the season, and wished everyone a happy holiday season. Perez thanked the city departments, including Parks and Recreation, for putting the event together.

“I just want to wish you all joy in your homes, and wish you all health, happiness, peace and prosperity this holiday season,” Perez said.

According to Boys and Girls Club Director Juan Arevalo, who was the Master of Ceremonies for the event, the city raffled 47 bicycles to children at the Holiday Lights & Delights event.

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