Even 2020 can’t stop Scranton’s biggest Christmas tree from spreading cheer.
Times-Shamrock Communications, publisher of The Times-Tribune, will light the radio tower atop the Scranton Times Building on Wednesday, Nov. 25, continuing a tradition that started in 1960.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, however, the public should not to gather at the Times building as usual. Instead, they can watch the tower lighting and the fireworks to follow (weather permitting) from their favorite viewing spot around town as well as through a livestream on thetimes-tribune.com.
The tower lighting is something the community looks forward to every year, said Don Farley, Times-Shamrock president and publisher, and it was important for not only the company but also its owners, the Lynett-Haggerty family, to continue that in 2020.
“It actually means a lot (to have this event) with everything having been so upside down in the world this year and people not being able to gather. … This is just a sign of normalcy,” Farley said. “This is something we can do to have a sense of normalcy in the community.”
The livestream will begin at 5:30 p.m. and include performances by Lynnette’s Twirlerettes, Ballet Theatre of Scranton and the Amazing Franko leading up to when Santa, joined by other seasonal characters, will throw the switch to light the tower at 6. Tom Ferguson of Christmas 92.1 will host.
“I’m looking forward to seeing it unfold, watching it in real time,” Ferguson said. “I’ve always loved the tower lighting ever since I’ve been working here. I’m excited to actually play what role I can.”
He pointed out that people need a little joy these days, too.
“I think, especially this year, we need a little more familiarity, and I think the tower lighting brings that,” Ferguson said.
Farley pointed out that people will be able to see the tower and fireworks for miles around, and he hopes those watching at homes will feel a sense of community. Ferguson sees the livestream as an opportunity to include even more people, and he thinks people will enjoy knowing they can join in the festivities from the comfort of their own couches.
“I think they’ll like the convenience of it,” Ferguson said.
If you watch
- What: Annual Scranton Times Building Tower Lighting and Fireworks
- When: Wednesday, Nov. 25; entertainment, 5:30 p.m.; fireworks, 6
- Where: Live-streaming on thetimes-tribune.com
- Details: People should not gather at the Scranton Times Building this year but are asked to watch the festivities online or from their favorite viewing spot around town. For more information, call 570-348-9100.
Caitlin Heaney West is the content editor for Access NEPA and oversees the Early Access blog in addition to working as a copy editor and staff writer for The Times-Tribune. An award-winning journalist, she is a summa cum laude graduate of Shippensburg University and also earned a master’s degree from Marywood University. Caitlin joined the Times-Shamrock family in 2009 and lives in Scranton. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5107; or @cheaneywest