Thomas Center Aglow for Holidays

Saturday night was a festive affair at the Historic Thomas Center with the annual lighting of the City of Gainesville Christmas tree inside the Spanish Court. There was music and caroling—and a visit from jolly Old Saint Nick himself.


The Singers of the Reformation and the Gainesville Harmony Show Chorus sang carols in period costumes to the delight of several hundred people. Meanwhile, Jim and Joyce Lillquist of the Gypsy Guerrilla Band provided holiday music on the hammered dulcimer and autoharp.

A long line formed as children and their parents lined up for one-on-one visits with Santa Claus.

The heart of the celebration was the holiday decorations on the 20-foot-tall tree and around the building, provided by the Thomas Center Associates. Amber Mathis, horticulturist for the Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, sourced the Southern Red Cedar from a tree farm in Alachua.

For a gallery of photos from the event, scroll below: