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.