A group of young people vandalised the Christmas tree in Gainsborough Market Place following a memorial event.
The youngsters were climbing and jumping on the tree damaging the lights.
Mayor of Gainsborough, Coun Matthew Boles, said: “I was disappointed to discover that following the St Barnabas Hospice Light up a Life service around the Christmas tree in the Market Place, a number of local youths decided they would damage the tree.
“Upon being challenged by volunteers and families who were remembering loved ones they responded with vile abuse.
“We had the service at the church and myself and the chairman of West Lindsey District Council lit candles along with relatives of people who had been at the hospice and had sadly passed away and were in memory of their loved ones. There was then a procession to the tree in the Market Place where there was time for reflection, carols and a few words.
“These kids had been around the town centre while the service was taking place so they knew something was going on. To give credit to three or four of the children they were absolutely fine but the other half were abusive.
“They damaged a community facility and as a town council we have invested a lot of money in improve the lights this year and making them better, There has now been an extra cost as we have had to hire cherry pickers to repair the damage.
“They showed complete disrespect at what was a memorial event. Thankfully the police are dealing with these individuals and they are not a reflection of our wider society who cherish, respect and value all in our community.”
Caroline Swindin, Community Events Fundraiser for St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice, said: “It’s sad that a minority of young people have caused this problem and it’s sad for the people who are remembering their loved ones.
“Our Light up a Life celebration is a poignant time in our hospice calendar and unites people in our community who have experienced the loss of someone special and brings great comfort and support to all who attend.”
A Lincs Police spokesman said: “An investigation has been launched after the Christmas tree in Gainsborough was reported to have been damaged.
“On the evening of Tuesday, December 8, we received a report that a group of youths, thought to be aged in their early teens, had damaged the tree in the Market Place.
“A number of enquiries are still ongoing and we are appealing for anyone who may have any information in relation to this to contact us on the non-emergency number 101 quoting incident 426 of December 8.”