Community Christmas Tree illuminates Pahrump

Christmas is a time for joy and happiness and in the Pahrump Valley, it’s a community-wide affair.

In this town, there is no better way to start the holidays off right than the lighting of the Community Christmas Tree.

Taking place the Saturday following Thanksgiving, the annual event, sponsored by Karen Jackson and KNYE Radio, is an increasingly popular occasion that regularly brings out valley residents in the hundreds.

It was no different this year, with a huge crowd of attendees gathering in the parking lot of the Pahrump Nugget Hotel and Casino to celebrate as the switch for the gigantic Community Christmas Tree was turned on, allowing the glittering lights to send out their sparkling beams and illuminate the night.

Jackson said the lighting ceremony on Nov. 24 was once again a huge hit and she was more than pleased to be able to bring something so special to the community. “It was a beautiful evening, a great turn-out,” Jackson detailed. “The weather was perfect and this year we were able to have a choir and that was nice. Everyone seems to have a good time.”

Of course Jackson could not do it all alone, and she had plenty of support in her endeavor. Valley Electric Association plays an integral role by helping to erect the tree and the Pahrump Nugget generously provides the site each year. Taking on the entertainment portion of 2018’s lighting ceremony was the High Desert Chorale, led by Ginger Forbes, along with the Pahrump Valley High School Choir. Their combined voices rose into the night air as they performed classic Christmas tunes to the delight of those attending.

The Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Service is also a big part of the Community Christmas Tree Lighting, with Jackson noting that Fire Chief Scott Lewis provides a sleigh of sorts to deliver Jolly Old Saint Nick to the festivities.

Arriving in style on a shiny red fire truck, Santa and Mrs. Claus were greeted by a throng of children eager to hug them and pose for photos.

“Why did Santa come on a fire truck and not a sleigh?” one young, precocious child questioned her mother as Santa dismounted from the engine Saturday night. The woman responded with a smile and suppressed laughter tugging up the corners of her lips, “Because there’s not enough snow here for a sleigh, sweetie.”

Jackson said the arrival of Kris Kringle and the missus is one of the best features of the entire event and one that invariably brings joy to her heart. “Watching the kids is really so much fun, they are always so excited,” Jackson enthused. “Their eyes get as big and round as saucers and they just light up.”

The cheer is not a one-night thing, either, with the Community Christmas Tree set to remaining in the Pahrump Nugget Parking lot until after the New Year. This is just one way for Jackson to bring community pride and unity to the valley during the most wonderful time of the year. “The thing that I really enjoy the most is, you can drive by that tree every day and you will see families out there, taking pictures and just enjoying it,” Jackson concluded. “That is so special to me.”

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at

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