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Ripon Chamber, Hospice of San Joaquin join forces for tree lighting
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Five of the Ripon Chamber of Commerce Almond Queen candidates, along with Miss Ripon Megan Harlan, found Santa Monday night at the tree lighting ceremony. They are from left in the back row Jessica Harlan, Santa, Miss Ripon, Samantha Jagerui, Nicole Driesen; and in the front, Desiree Cruz-Sampson and Ashley Gomez. - photo by Photo courtesy of Laura Roots Spence

The Ripon Chamber of Commerce shared its annual Christmas tree lighting event with San Joaquin Hospice at 6 p.m. Monday evening at the Veteran’s Park on Locust Avenue and First Street in downtown Ripon.

There were 85 colored lights sparkling from the tree’s branches honoring those who had lost their lives during the past year in the community as the Dreamcatchers Choir from Ripon High School sang carols from the front porch of the Veterans’ Museum adjacent to the tree.

Chamber President Tamra Spade welcomed the crowd of about 150 members of the public as did Pat Collier of the Hospice board of directors.

Colony Oak Elementary School first grader Jayden Yeung was honored for being the young artist who sketched the cover of the tree lighting program, as children continually swarmed Santa, who they found sitting in the shadows.  

A check from the Ripon Police Department and the Ripon Fire Department in the amount of $1,600 was presented to Hospice to aid in their support of the seriously ill members of the community. 

Miss Ripon Megan Harlan joined the family of Diana Reynolds in flipping the switch to light this year’s tree that has grown a few feet taller since last year’s event.

Daughters Lori Bunnell and Jamie Van Groningen and Mrs. Reynolds’ grandchildren Jacob, Emily, Carson, Darren, Chase and Trevor collectively did their part in the tree lighting ceremony.

The invocation was given by Pastor Luke Jones of the Free Methodist Church in downtown Ripon. 

The lights were hung on the tree by Pacific Gas and Electric Company workers. 

There was hot chocolate and finger food pastries for everyone following the event and the singing of the carols by the choir directed by RHS teacher Adam Serpa.  


To contact Glenn Kahl, email