Rudolph led the arrival of Santa’s sleigh aboard an antique fire truck.
Photos by Nikki Cheshire/The Connection
Despite the constant rain throughout the day, dozens of Great Falls residents braved the weather and headed out to the 24th annual Celebration of Lights. The free event kicked off with Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving on their sleigh, an antique fire truck with reindeer perched on the hood. After many exchanges of “Merry Christmas” with the crowd on their way to the tree, Santa and Mrs. Claus shared a hug as the tree lit up for the first time this season. Afterward, they made their way around the tree, shaking hands, wishing everyone a merry Christmas, and even participating in the occasional selfie taken by some residents.
Visits with Santa were available throughout the night, as were refreshments, including popcorn and hot apple cider, which were provided by community sponsors. Throughout the festival, there were performances from Village Green Day School, Great Falls Elementary and Forestville Elementary students, who sang Christmas carols in front of the tree. Pony rides were offered as well, and there was a fire so people could try to stay warm. The evening closed with a live nativity scene presented by Margaret Johnson and several stables in the Equestrian Community of Great Falls.