Hospital kicks off ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’

Published: Nov. 19, 2023 at 10:57 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 19, 2023 at 11:16 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Jonesboro.

NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital held the 11th annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 19. Community members gathered to celebrate the start of the Christmas season.

This year, the hospital is asking the public to donate cans of soup to give back to the local nonprofit Helping Neighbors Food Pantry. Cans can be dropped off at any NEA Baptist location through Dec. 1.

Marketing Director Ty Jones said they love lighting up the lobby every year.

“We always light the tree before we cut the turkey,” Jones said. “It’s the season of thankfulness and the season of giving.”

He said along with lighting the tree, they wanted to offer free Christmas for the community. The ceremony featured live Christmas music from the local band Chieftain Lane Revival. Arkansas State Men’s Basketball Coach Brian Hodgson read the night before Christmas and the Nativity Story was read by The Rock of NEA Pastor Terry Watson.

Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus made their grand arrival right after the tree was lit. Children waited in line to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him their wishlist.