Parade, carols and tree lighting welcome holiday season on post

(Clockwise from left) The holiday tree lights up the night during the APG tree lighting celebration on Harford Boulevard; Soldiers escort children in the holiday parade that included military vehicles and a marching band; and families enjoy the holiday parade as it passes through Bayside Village during the Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting Nov. 30, 2017. | U.S. Army Photos by amburr reese and Sean Kief, APG Garrison

A huge crowd turned out for the APG Holiday Tree Lighting on Harford Boulevard Nov. 30. Festivities began with a parade of Army leaders, vehicles, and equipment, the Aberdeen High School marching band; the Freestate Challenge Academy Gospel Choir and emergency vehicles from the Directorate of Emergency Services fire and police departments.

The parade circled Bayside Village then returned to the Harford Boulevard site near the holiday tree. An array of events set up for revelers included a refreshments tent where Morale, Welfare and Recreation personnel served pizza, cookies, snacks and hot chocolate; A hospitality vehicle from the USO Metro; warming fire pits and caroling by the Aberdeen High School chorus as well as the Freestate ChalleNGe Academy Gospel Choir. In addition, personnel from the Harford County Sheriff Department, led by Sgt. Aaron Penman, displayed the HOPE (Heroin Overdose Prevention Effort) House, a mobile education unit designed to educate parents about the warning signs of controlled, dangerous substance use or abuse. Sgt. Aaron Penman of the department’s Community Service Division led the demonstration and volunteer Silvia Meranski led tours of the unit.

From left, Command Sgts. Maj. Matthew McCoy of CECOM; Gabriel Espinosa of ATEC; and Toese Tia of the APG Garrison lead the parade kicking off the APG Holiday Tree Lighting festivities Nov. 30, 2017. | U.S. Army Photo by Sean Kief, APG Garrison

On behalf of APG Senior Commander Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor, Garrison Commander Col. Robert Phillips thanked all organizers, participants and guests for supporting the event and noted that the history of the installation, which was celebrated this year, includes the long-standing tradition of lighting the holiday tree.

“This ceremony has always been about fellowship and celebrating the APG community,” he said.

Taylor led the lighting of the tree. He was joined by his spouse, Lucas Taylor; Phillips; and the APG Family of the Year.

“We just loved this,” said Jessica Park, a PEO IEW&S civilian who was attending her first APG tree lighting.

“They did everything right,” she said. “They did everything for the families.”

http://By Yvonne Johnson, APG News

Santa leads the lighting of the APG holiday tree with, from left, APG Garrison Commander Col. Robert Phillips; the Murdocks, APG Family of the Year; APG Senior Commander Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor, and his spouse, Lucas Taylor. | U.S. Army Photo by Sean Kief, APG Garrison