Holiday season in Providence kicks off with tree lighting


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The holiday season is kicking off in Providence this weekend beginning with the tree lighting at Providence City Hall Friday evening.

The annual holiday spectacle was made even more special for one local family, who made it all happen this year.

“A few years back, my grandfather actually donated his tree, I believe it was four years ago, and it was actually to this day almost that they did the tree lighting,” said Joshua Okolowitcz. “So this past year, I was able to purchase my grandparent’s house, and I thought that it would be in the spirit of the holidays that I could follow in his footsteps and donate the tree.”

The Rhode Show’s Brendan Kirby joined Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza to flip the switch.

Okolowitcz and his family were also in attendance to see his tree all lit up. The family believes their grandfather’s presence was with them, even though he passed away last year.

The city’s 2016 holiday celebrations continue Saturday with world champion figure skating demonstrations by two-time Olympic medalist and Rhode Island resident Michelle Kwan.

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