SHARON, Pa. (WKBN) — The City of Sharon’s annual tree lighting had dancing, caroling, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus — but a few special moments punctuated the evening.

Cheers erupted as Pennsylvania State Rep. Mark Longietti officially lit the city of Sharon’s Christmas tree. It’s his last as state representative.

He said he’s extremely proud of what’s been accomplished in Sharon over the last 16 years, and said he’s looking forward to upcoming projects in his new role as Hermitage’s Director of Business and Community Development.

“The focus is on the city of Hermitage, but Hermitage always takes a broader view and it’ll be something where we can get involved in some regional projects where we can help the entire area,” Longietti said.

Hermitage and Wheatland passed a ballot issue to merge November 8. Longietti said they already have plans for that merger.

“Wheatland has a number of businesses and we want to bring them into the fold and see what challenges they have and how we can help,” Longietti said.

The tree lighting ceremony also recognized another special and important contribution. Martin Tyillian, the head of maintenance at Buhl Mansion, donated this years Christmas tree. He planted it over 30 years ago in his backyard.

“It started its life as a Christmas tree because it was a root bulb Christmas tree and it was getting a little large, and I thought I’d donate it to the city — they were looking for a tree,” he said.

He said his whole life he’s always repurposed things — so he wanted the tree to end its life with a special purpose.

“A perfect ending for the tree – or beginning. It will live on in people’s memories — do you know what I mean? That’s what I think about it,” Tyillian said.

He said the tree was also donated to honor his father who passed away — and his mother, who just had a birthday.

“It’s really wonderful because the town just, they just sang happy birthday to my mom, who’s here and she just turned 90 a couple of days ago,” Tyillian said.