A holiday celebration that went right to the heart and soul of South Miami happened Friday night, Dec. 21, with a ceremonial Christmas tree lighting hosted by the South Miami Black Cultural Affairs Foundation, Inc. Headed up by Levy Kelly, the event and took place on the lot next to Historic St. John A.M.E. Church South Miami, on the corner of SW 64th Street and 59th Place.
Bishop Joshua Caley Sr. also was on hand to share warm words and a communal blessing before the lighting ceremony took place. Also in attendance were James McCants, head of the South Miami CRA, and City of South Miami Commissioners Luis Gil and Bob Welsh.
There was plenty of holiday cheer to go around, as holiday songs were performed by many of the children and adults in attendance. And to top things off, a food truck swung by, offering some of the best soul food and holiday dishes prepared right on the spot.
The big moment happened once all the song, dance, and holiday prayers wrapped up – as the hotly anticipated toy give-away finally got underway.
Children actually started lining up about an hour before the lighting ceremony to get their eager hands on tickets redeemable for toys. With the help of members of the local South Miami Police Explorers, all the gifts were given in an orderly fashion – and fun was had by all.
The event certainly captured what the season is all about – a great time for the residents of South Miami and a wonderfully warm way to ring in the holiday for the local community.