Continuing a tradition begun by then St. Augustine Mayor George Gardner in 2003, current Mayor Tracy Upchurch has named honorees to turn the switches that will launch the 26th annual Nights of Lights recognizing recognized the service of the first woman to serve the city as mayor and the person who has managed Light-Up! Night for the past 20 years.
To turn the big switch to light the city, Mayor Upchurch has selected a former mayor who served the city nearly four decades ago, Ramelle Petroglou. Serving two terms, 1981-1982 and 1983-1985, Petroglou was the city’s 109th mayor and the first woman to serve in that position.
Turning the switch that will light the city’s tree will be Paul K. Williamson who recently retired as the city’s Public Affairs Director after more than 19 years in the position. Williamson has planned every Light-Up! Night since 2000 and served as emcee for the ceremony in all those years except for one by leading the crowd in the familiar countdown to the lighting.
“This year I wanted to recognize two people who are outstanding representatives of the hundreds who do their job every day for the people of St. Augustine,” said Upchurch. “Whether in the role of an elected official such as Ramelle or a city employee such as Paul, these two are indicative of those who make a commitment to serve their community and then do so with sincere and unwavering dedication.”
Light-Up! Night is Saturday, November 23 with the lighting ceremony scheduled for 6:30pm in the Plaza de la Constitución. For more information, visit www.CityStAug.com/LightUpNight. Photo by Renee Unsworth.