RIO VISTA — Rio Vista’s downtown remained quiet and somewhat dim, with only Christmas lights on lamp posts and store fronts giving it glow.
There was sudden applause on the end of Main Street. The city’s Christmas tree glowed with bright red and green lights and illuminated the formerly dark end of the street.
A small but enthusiastic group attended the eighth annual Tree of Lights in Rio Vista. The event was rescheduled from Saturday due to rain and a subsequent lighted boat parade was canceled.
The event was quiet and quick, many residents noted, but it was the significance of the tree itself that held a lot of meaning.
For eight years, the Hospice of San Joaquin has put on the tree-lighting ceremony. Every year, it allows residents and community members to dedicate a light to loved ones they’ve lost, or to honor someone in their life for any reason.
The hospice brings local nurses and social workers to communities such as Rio Vista and works at the homes of its patients. It has been operating in the Bay Area for 24 years and in Rio Vista for 15. For residents such as Karen Smith, the care provided by the hospice has been a blessing.
“What those people do is give you sanity in madness,” she said.
Barbara Pombo, development director at hospice, said that’s the goal with the tree-lighting event.
“There’s an opportunity in the holiday season for people to come together and support one another in their loss . . . with community support,” she said.
Reach Heather Ah San at 427-6977 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/HeatherMalia.