By Ashley Rader
Roan Mountain residents will gather in the frosty November air under the twinkling stars to welcome the Christmas season Monday night and light the community Christmas tree.
For the first time in a number of years, the tree lighting will be held outdoors.
Roan Mountain Citizens Club Public Relations Committee member Kelsey Tipton said the club made the decision years ago to move the tree lighting ceremony indoors to keep children and other audience members out of the elements while waiting for the tree to be lit.
The tree lighting ceremonies at that time featured a live tree that was cut and brought indoors. The ceremony was first held at the Roan Mountain Holiness Church in a picnic shelter, but after that was enclosed, the ceremony was relocated to Cloudland Elementary.
“The Roan Mountain Citizens Club decided to move the event back outside this year in hopes of reaching out to different residents of Roan Mountain and providing a more community friendly atmosphere,” Tipton said.