Town of Harrisburg to host annual Christmas tree lighting
By Christie Barlow
Music, Santa and a 30-foot tree can mean only one thing — the Christmas season is here.
Sparkling lights, hot chocolate and quality time with family is on the agenda for the Town of Harrisburg. On Friday, residents old and young are invited to bundle up and gather at Town Hall for the annual Town of Harrisburg Christmas Tree Lighting celebration.
“It’s a good way to usher in the Christmas season,” said Amelia Turner, who organizes the celebration. “It’s a unifying community event and gets you in the Christmas spirit.”
Festivities kick off at 6 p.m. with the tree being lit up as soon as it gets dark.
In addition to the tree lighting, there will be plenty of other activities to keep visitors busy that night.
There will be two large hay covered wagons providing carriage rides around Town Hall and hot apple cider, hot chocolate, coffee and cookies will be available to snack on.
Besides the tree lighting, the highlight for many in attendance, will be when Santa Claus rides in on a fire truck. Once he arrives, Santa will be seated in front of the tree and will be ready to hear children’s Christmas wish list. Santa is a huge attraction, Turner said, and visitors are encouraged to bring a camera so they can snap their own pictures with him.
Santa will also be getting a little help from some elves this year. As part of the Key Club’s community service program, a group of Hickory Ridge High School club members will act as Santa’s little helpers assisting kids waiting to meet Santa.
“Everybody just gets really excited about the holidays,” said Heidi Johnson, who organizes the Key Club at Hickory Ridge. “It’s a time to give back, especially with little kids getting to meet Santa Claus, that’s just fun.”
Hickory Ridge won’t be the only school represented at the tree lighting. The C.C. Griffin Middle School band will perform. The 100-piece band will perform various Christmas carols and holiday music, Turner said.
In addition to C.C. Griffin’s band, there will be several church choirs who will perform both solos and group numbers.
The entire event is free of charge and open to the public.
In addition to the outdoor festivities, visitors can get out of the cold and get some Christmas shopping done. The Holiday Bazaar at Hibernian Hall will take place during the Christmas tree lighting.
About 20 different vendors will be on hand providing holiday items, crafts and gifts.
The bazaar will start at 4 p.m. and run through the Christmas tree lighting ending at 8 p.m. There is no charge to browse the Holiday Bazaar.
“This is like a gift from the town to the citizens and community,” Turner said. “It’s fun for the community to come together. I love Christmas and I think the community does too.”
• Contact Christie Barlow at [email protected] or 704-789-9140.