Annual base tree lighting set for Nov. 30

Girl Scouts sang holiday carols at last year's annual base tree lighting ceremony. This year's tree lighting is set for 4:45 p.m. Nov. 30 in the grassy area east of the chapel on D Street.  In addition to carols, there will be cookies and hot chocolate and a chance for the kids to meet Santa Claus.

Girl Scouts sang holiday carols at last year's annual base tree lighting ceremony. This year's tree lighting is set for 4:45 p.m. Nov. 30 in the grassy area east of the chapel on D Street. In addition to carols, there will be cookies and hot chocolate and a chance for the kids to meet Santa Claus.

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

Packages in pretty paper, the cold air nipping at noses and good cheer aplenty fills Kirtland Air Force Base with the kickoff to the holiday season at the Base Chapel.

The annual tree lighting is set for 4:45 p.m. Nov. 30 in the grassy area east of the chapel on D Street.

“We have had overwhelming support for it; we were shocked,” said 377th Air Base Wing Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Darren Duncan. 

He added the festivities would go well into the evening, with events and activities inside the chapel in the Fellowship Hall. 

“There will be hot chocolate, cookies and of course the kids will be able to meet with Santa and Mrs. Claus,” Duncan said.

The ceremony is scheduled to start with the Kirtland Air Force Base Girl Scouts Choir singing, followed by the welcome address by Lt. Col. Richard Reed and an invocation by Duncan. Col. Richard Gibbs, 377th Air Base Wing commander, will give a brief speech and then lead everyone in the countdown to the tree lighting. 

“The holiday season is a special time of year when we gather with our family and friends and celebrate,” Gibbs said. As if by magic, Santa will arrive, riding with the Team Kirtland Fire Department, seconds after the tree begins to brightly shine.

“I haven’t checked the weather for the event, but if it’s not too cold, we might linger outside for a while before moving into the Fellowship Hall,” Duncan said. 

The event is open to anyone with base access. For more information, contact the Chapel at 846-5691.