Updated Dec. 10, 1:20 p.m.–
Rain held off as about 1,200 people gathered outside city hall in Citrus Heights for the annual Christmas tree lighting Thursday night, followed by an evening of family-friendly activities and performances in the Community Center next door.
“This Christmas and throughout the year may your hearts and homes be blessed with joy and peace,” said Vice Mayor Sue Frost to the gathered crowd just before the tree was lit up. “I hope you all have a great Christmas!”
Her colleague, Mayor Mel Turner, led the crowds in a count-down just after 7 p.m., giving “Santa” the honors of pulling the switch to light up over 1000 multi-colored LED’s on the 43-foot-high tree, drawing cheers and applause from the crowd.
Seasonal Christmas music and chatter filled the Community Center afterwards, as the mayor invited crowds to enjoy complimentary hot chocolate, cookies and donuts next door — and a long line quickly assembled for photos with Saint Nick.
The O’sullivan Academy of Irish Dance gave several performances throughout the evening, and the Citrus Heights Community Marching Band drew attention from kids and adults alike, as it loudly played well-known seasonal tunes like “Silent night,” and “Hark the herald angels sing.”
The event wound down by 9 p.m., as the popular “choo-choo” train ride outside prepared for its last run around the Community Center, and officers from the Citrus Heights Police Department hauled off several bags full of goods received from on-site donation bins to benefit the Holiday Referral Program.
A lighting ceremony for the nation’s Christmas tree was also held Thursday night in Washington D.C., where President Barack Obama highlighted the birth of Jesus, saying, “The way He lived still compels us to do our best to build a more just and tolerant and decent world.”
The event was sponsored by the Sunrise Mall, Sunrise Marketplace and Republic Services, with contributions from 7-eleven on San Juan Avenue, TLC and Abel’s Christmas Trees.
The Citrus Heights tree will stay lit through Christmas and can be viewed at the corner of Greenback Lane and Fountain Square Drive.
Updated Dec. 10, 1:20 p.m.--
Rain held off as about 1200 people gathered outside city hall in Citrus Heights for the annual Christmas tree lighting Thursday night, followed by an evening of family-friendly activities and performances in the Community Center next door...
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