Frigid temps don’t deter Festival of the Lights in Mt. Morris

Santa Claus led the crowd in a countdown to light up the Campus Square in downtown Mt. Morris for the Festival of Lights on Dec.3.

Santa Claus needed just a little help from the crowd on Dec. 3 before flipping the switch on at Mt. Morris’s Festival of Lights Dec. 3.

“Let’s all count down,” said Santa as organizer Ed Higley, Downtown Decorating Committee member. slipped to the back of band shell to turn on all the holiday lights on the Campus Square. “Five, four, three to one!”

On a night that saw temperatures drop to the mid 20s, a stiff wind blew across the Campus Square causing participants to bundle up for the event.

Santa led the lighted parade from the back of a pick up truck after a line of lighted vehicles – including festive fire trucks from the Mt. Morris Fire Department — left from the parking lot of the former David L. Rahn Junior High to the band shell.

At least 8,000 and 10,000 strings of lights were used to deck out the campus this year, Higley said.

It’s “nowhere near as complicated” as the one at his own house, where 80,000-plus lights all timed to music are set up, he joked.

After the lighting, Santa Claus sat in his sleigh and heard children’s Christmas wish lists with Mt. Morris library officials giving away books to the kids. Carolers sang holiday favorites from the band shell.

Members of the crowd were also urged to vote for their favorite at the Trees in the Bandshell Christmas tree decorating contest.

The Grinch rides in one of the vehicles that took part in the lighted parade during Mt. Morris' Festival of Lights  on Dec.3.
Harrison Taylor, 3, of Mt. Morris visits with Santa Claus at Mt. Morris' Festival of Lights on Dec.3. Harrison also received a free book from the Mt. Morris Library after he spoke with Santa.
Mt. Morris residents Salley Wessels and Carol Reckmeyer look over some of the decorated Christmas trees during the voting period at the Festival of Lights in Mt. Morris on Dec.3. The evening event included free food, a lighted parade, caolers, and Santa Claus.
Mt. Morris' Festival of Lights included carolers who sang Christmas songs on the stage of the band shell after the Campus Square was lit up on Dec. 3.
Mt. Morris Fire vehicles, decorated for Christmas, led the way at the lighted parade that kicked off Mt. Morris' Festival of Lights on Dec.3.
Several vehicles took part in the lighted parade at the start of Mt. Morris' Festival of Lights on Dec.3.
Eden and Luke White sit with Santa Claus at Mt. Morris' Festival of Lights on Dec.3. A visit with Santa was the main attraction at this year's event.

Earleen Hinton

Earleen oversees production and content of 9 community weeklies and has worked for Shaw Newspapers since 1985.