From reporter Kris Sherman:
There were no doorbusters. No get-this-for-a-pittance, get-that-for-a-song ads. No ringing cash registers. No smoking credit cards.
The lighting of Tacoma’s town Christmas tree was free to all comers Saturday night.
And in a rough economy, that price clearly appealed to the estimated 800 to 1,000 people who counted down from 10 with Santa Claus before the five-story evergreen erupted in a glow of red, white, blue and green lights.
It was a simple ceremony, perhaps just what many needed in complex times.
The crowd gathered as darkness descended, many trundling into the lobby of the Pantages Theater at South Ninth and Broadway for hot chocolate or apple cider.
An army brass quintet blew seasonal songs into the relatively balmy evening.
A number of sponsors brought about the event. They included downtown businesses, the Broadway Center, Life Center, Fort Lewis, which supplied the tree, and Tacoma power, police and fire crews, which played roles in hauling it to town and getting it decorated.