The Christmas tree in downtown Bellefonte was illuminated Tuesday night in a ceremony honoring a longtime borough employee.
The “Light Up the Town” ceremony was dedicated to Bob Dorman, who was employed for 26 years as borough electrician and later, assistant superintendent of public works. He passed away earlier this month at age 58 after battling cancer.
Dorman was recognized for his service to the community and remembered for his love of decorating the town each year for the holidays.
“Bob took great pleasure in decorating the tree each year,” Mayor Tom Wilson said, adding that Dorman was an inspiration to all who knew him.
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Borough Manager Ralph Stewart said utility companies used to donate a bucket truck and personnel to decorate the town. When they no longer performed the service, Dorman took it upon himself to string the lights and adorn the tree.
Dorman also had a sense of humor, Stewart said. The lights that were hung were usually white, but Dorman liked to sneak colored lights in among the rest.
“We always enjoyed that each year,” he said.
Members of Dorman’s family were also present. Daughter Katie Cramer, of South Williamsport, said her father was a special man and was be deeply missed. She also spoke of his love of the holiday season.
“He’s dancing, seeing the colored lights,” she said.
Wilson led the dozens who gathered in front of the courthouse in Christmas carols at the beginning and end of the ceremony. The first verse of “Silent Night” was the final selection.
“Light up the town!” Wilson exclaimed at the conclusion. Amid laughter and applause, the lights on the tree popped on.
After the tree was illuminated, Jessica James, of Bellefonte, took photos of the tree. The bright adornments provided a new look for a familiar site for her.
She and her brother, Josh Simonetti, received two saplings for Arbor Day about 20 years ago when they were students at Marion Walker Elementary School. Only one survived, the tree currently standing in the square.
“It looks good here and gets it out of my dad’s front yard,” she said.