In 1914 Battle Creek Became Second City in the U.S. With an Electric Christmas Tree
Battle Creek was the second city in the nation to have a lighted outdoor Christmas Tree in the United States.
On December 18, 1914, Battle Creek's first city tree was set up in what was called 'Central Park' at the time. That location is next to Willard Library. The tree was adorned with 350 electric lights on Christmas Eve. Electric lights were considered a novelty at that time.
3,000 children were in attendance along with what was described at the time as 'acres of spectators' who all came to see the tree and here carolers. Mrs. C.W. Post provided 4,000 boxes of candy to the children.
A parade led by the Grand Trunk band to the tree proceeded the lighting ceremony. There was a moment of silence before a single flute began playing "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear".
The lights were then turned on in tiers starting at the ground to the top, ending with the star being lit at the top. Following the lighting ceremony, carolers headed to the Congregational Church where they enjoyed cocoa and donuts.
Finally, the carolers boarded 8 elegant automobiles and drove around the city caroling.
The city Christmas tree was lit every night that Christmas week and was only the second lighted outdoor tree in the entire nation. The first one being in New York's Madison Square Park with lights donated by the Edison Company.
Here is a look at what the modern 2021 Battle Creek Christmas Parade looked like with this fascinating drone footage...
Stunning 2021 Battle Creek Christmas Parade Drone Photos
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