JOHNSTON, S.C. (WJBF) -The Johnston community is keeping up with a holiday tradition. City leaders in there hosted their annual Christmas tree lighting event.

The tree is lit at Mims Avenue in Johnston, South Carolina.

“It’s shows unity,it shows love and that’s what I like.”

The Christmas Tree Lighting has been a community tradition for more than 8 years.

“It brings awareness,” said Mayor Culbreath.

Terrence Culbreath is the mayor of Johnston. He says it’s important to keep this tradition going in the small-knit community.

“Because small towns are drying up and people are leaving small towns, so for us to be a town with less than 3-thousand people in it, we still do this every year the first Sunday after Thanksgiving,” said Mayor Johnston.

And over the years City leaders have been working to make the tradition bigger and better each year.

Mayor Culbreath says, “The tree didn’t quite look like that, it was a little different and the kids at the local schools told me, they said, I can’t vote, but can you do one thing if you win, can you get us a new Christmas tree? So, here’s the new Christmas tree.”

The 18-foot tree stood lit in the middle of the town. Sunday’s festivities featured singing, games, food, pictures with Santa Claus, and of course toys.

“It’s to make Christmas what it’s supposed to be, it’s about community. Community is communion, communion is when we’re in fellowship with one another, but not only that, but with God, so when you think about the community we think about one another. It’s not about me, it’s about us, it’s about how we are as a family, how are we as a city and a town, and that’s what we want to reflect tonight,” said Steve Hall Pastor at Johnston Church of God.