Santa delighted the small number of people who attended the annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Highlands on Nov. 28 at Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park.
Presented by the Highlands Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center and recently dubbed ‘Light Up the Park,’ the excitement in the air grew once Santa arrived spreading Christmas cheer while riding on a Highlands Fire & Rescue truck.
Pictured below is a glimpse of Light Up the Park:
Highlands Chamber Executive Director Kaye McHan said this year’s tree lighting was a drive-through affair that was broadcast on WHLC to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Santa couldn’t take his usual post in Santa’s Hut due to the pandemic, but he was still able to make an appearance and wish everyone a merry Christmas.
Before the lights were powered on, Highlands Mayor Pat Taylor spoke a few words from the stage, as did Highlands United Methodist Church Rev. Randy Lucas, followed by Santa reciting “Twas the night Before Christmas.”
Then it was countdown time, and shortly after 6 p.m. lights throughout Founders blazed to life. Scattered Oooo’s and Aaaa’s could be heard throughout the park as each tree lit up one after the other.
Throughout the night’s festivities, skaters made good use of the ice rink and the reservation system set up by the Highlands Rec Department as a safety measure ran smoothly.
Also at 6 p.m., many businesses throughout downtown switched on their Christmas lights marking the beginning of the Chamber’s storefront decorating contest, Trim Our Town.
The contest began on Nov. 28 and runs through Dec 24. Anyone can vote using the QR code at each participating store, or by clicking HERE.
There is incentive to vote, voters’ names are entered into a drawing to win a $200 gift certificate from Old Edwards Inn.
Olde Mountain Christmas Festival cancelled
The Chamber recently announced the cancellation of the Highlands Olde Mountain Christmas Festival on Dec. 5 due to safety concerns. Read more about the cancellation HERE.
People who attended Light Up the Park in person were spread throughout Founders in small groups with most wearing masks and only removing them to snap a quick photo.