City Gets Christmas Tree

For the twelfth year in a row, Mayor John Robert Smith has cut a Christmas tree for the city of Meridian.

He traveled to Chunky Monday morning to cut an 18-foot Leyland Cypress that he said is for the "family" of Meridian.

The tree was actually slightly damaged by Hurricane Ivan.

"I could not help but be touched and reminded of the Charlie Brown Christmas and the little tree that became a beautiful tree. Well, this tree was almost knocked down by Ivan. It was heavily damaged and still a beautiful tree though. And so we wanted to give it a very special end of its life, as the officials city Christmas tree," said Smith.

The tree was later placed at City Hall. The lighting of the Christmas tree will be Thursday at 5:00 p.m.

Downtown stores will be open late that night as well for early Christmas shopping.