The weather outside wasn’t frightful but the Boy Scouts’ fire was so delightful at the annual village Christmas tree lighting Friday night.
A light snow at the start of the event helped to set the mood as Christmas songs played from nearby speakers while the park filled with holiday revelers.
As many as 300 people gathered in the park to greet the guest of honor, Santa Claus, as the Granville Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual tree lighting event.
A roar went up through the kids as a Granville fire truck hit the sirens just before stopping in front of Veterans Park on Quaker Street.
Without the reindeer for the night, Santa worked the crowd as he made his way to the park’s bandstand to prepare to meet a few happy little kids.
First Saint Nick had some business to attend to and along with chamber member Harry Haldt; he led the countdown to illuminating the village tree, complete with a new star decoration for the top.
With emcee duties completed it was down to meeting with all of the boys and girls who came from around the area to get one last word in for inclusion on the “nice” list before Christmas arrives.
Thanks to a helping hand from several chamber members Santa was able to present each child with a small age-appropriate gift.
Chamber President Kerri Thomas said some of the subtle changes made to the program seemed to make the event much more of a social gathering rather than one more chance to stand in a line during the Christmas season.
“I thought it just went so well. The weather was beautiful, not too cold, and I think everyone had a great time,” Thomas said.
Kids were called up to meet Santa in age groups allowing those who were not in the age group to enjoy the fire ring and roast some marshmallows or gets some cookies and cocoa from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion Ladies auxiliaries.
Kathy Hayward of the VFW and American Legion Ladies auxiliaries said the volunteers who gathered homemade cookies brought more than 20 dozen to the park as well as serving more than nine gallons of hot cocoa.
Also new this year, Thomas said, was a fireplace backdrop for Santa courtesy of member Ralph Krueger. The entire setup was also moved back a bit, allowing parents to come up onto the bandstand to get better pictures of their little ones without having to stand in the park flower bed.
“I think it all worked out pretty well,” she said.