For the eighth year, the city’s downtown will be transformed into a winter wonderland, where Christmas activities will abound during the Christmas Tree Lighting Dec. 6.
The free event is scheduled from 6 to 10 p.m. and will include photos with Santa Claus, carriage rides, a live Nativity organized by members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and live entertainment by local school choruses.
New this year is a 9-foot by 10-foot inflatable screen that will be playing Christmas-themed cartoons. The event will culminate with the lighting of the Christmas tree at 8 p.m. A group of veterans will ceremonially light the tree. The choruses will sing “O Holy Night” as the tree is lit and the crowd is invited to join in.
As the tree is lit, two industrial snow blowers will spray snow into the crowd.
“The kids just absolutely love it,” said Cynthia Geyer-Tressel, Hiram city clerk and organizer of the event.
Food vendors will also be on hand selling snacks and treats to attendees. The event has continued to grow from year to year, and Geyer-Tressel said the downtown area was packed to the gills last year. She estimates that around 2,500 people attended the event and more than 300 families had their photos taken with Santa.
Geyer-Tressel said the event would not be as big or as popular as it is if it weren’t for the help of the entire community. Volunteers of nonprofit organizations, such as the Family Alliance of Paulding, CASA Paulding, Hiram Ruritan Sports Compex and the FCA, operate the kids’ activities.
“We would never be able to pull this event off without that support,” Geyer-Tressel said.
All proceeds from the activities, which are ticketed and do cost money, will go back to the nonprofits.
Major sponsors of the event are GreyStone Power, Hardy Family Automotive, Crist Roofing and Construction, and Little Caesar’s Pizza.