ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. – (Dec. 4, 2020) In a ceremony Dec. 4, Rock Island Arsenal officials conducted the installation’s annual holiday tree lighting ceremony.The ceremony, the 159th held at the Arsenal, aired live over Facebook Live, with only a limited audience at the event, in order to provide safety given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.Garrison Commander Col. Todd Allison began the event. He said that it’s important that activities which support the Arsenal as a community continue. “This is one of the few events we said early in the pandemic that we were going to make a deal out of. We want to thank the family and friends who are looking on virtually – something that’s become a norm here in 2020,” he said. “This culminates a year full of challenge that we hope to end with joy.”Maj. Gen. Troy Galloway, deputy commander, First Army, was the event’s keynote speaker.“Even with the challenges we’ve experienced with 2020 there’s still plenty of things to be thankful for, and plenty of reasons to look forward to 2021,” Galloway said.“Doing things different doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the holiday season,” Galloway said, “The spirit of the season is here -- we just may have to look just a little bit harder to find it.”Following Galloway’s comments, Santa Claus arrived, first performing the duty of apprehending the Grinch, also on hand. Santa, the reformed Grinch, Galloway, and Allison took part in the countdown, flipping the switch to light this year’s holiday tree.Music for the ceremony came from Army Sustainment Command Chaplain Lt. Col. Carl Livingston and Capt. Karmi Rivera.Following the ceremony, Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Tisa Scott presented awards to the winners of the home decorating contest. First place was awarded to Javish Hernandez, Army Sustainment Command, second place was awarded to Capt. Michael Davis, and third place was awarded to Chief Warrant Officer 5 Shawn Babcock, Army Sustainment Command.The commanders also presented certificates to the sponsors and volunteers who made the event possible.US Army Garrison Rock Island ArsenalRock Island Arsenal FMWR