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’Tis the season

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A couple choirs and a percussion group entertained the 50 or so folks who waited in the freezing cold for Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to light the downtown Christmas tree in Hart Plaza last week. Donning a tan wool coat and fedora, Kilpatrick stood poised to flip the switch, so to speak, and set the tree aglow with 250,000 watts of power. But the city lighting department instructed him to wait until 5:38 p.m. to accommodate the needs of local TV stations, which were carrying the event live. With a few minutes to kill, someone from the crowd suggested that the mayor sing.

“I don’t sing,” laughed the mayor. “People would really leave. I was in the choir, but it don’t mean you can sing.”

Kilpatrick suggested that the crowd sing a round of “Silent Night.” But no one knew the words.

“Y’all scrubs, you don’t sing ‘Silent Night,’” he teased. “How ’bout ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?’”

After the group muddled its way through the tune, the mayor cheered, then lit the tree. Kilpatrick may not be able to sing, but he sure can amuse a crowd.

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