Elk Grove rings in the holiday season with the traditional tree lighting


Victoria Truesdale

Old Town Elk Grove celebrates its annual Christmas Tree Lighting and the 35th Annual Dickens Street Faire on Saturday. Families are crowded around the tree and enjoying the ceremony.

Elk Grove celebrated its annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Saturday evening following the 35th Annual Dickens Street Faire.
The lighting ceremony and street faire has been held in Old Town Elk Grove for many years now and has become a holiday staple in the community. Families full of excitement were crowded around the tree, anxiously waiting for the ceremony to begin.
“Gathering the community and everyone together, it’s nice. Everyone’s usually happy and we’ve got our cocoa so it’s fun,” said ceremony attendee Colby Cox-Espejo.
A fun addition to the ceremony was the booth handing out free cookies and hot cocoa that had been set up at the Elk Grove Teen Center.
The ceremony officially started with Mrs. Claus reading Clement Clark Moore’s classic holiday poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” more commonly known as “T’was the Night Before Christmas.”
After Mrs. Claus finished reading the poem, Santa Claus stepped up to the microphone and led the audience in a countdown to lighting the tree.
The crowd erupted into cheers the moment the rainbow-colored strands lit up the tree and kids rushed towards the tree to play under the foam “snow” that was set up to blanket underneath the tree.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Claus made their way to the yard where a small tableau was set up for photos, taking pictures and collecting Christmas lists along the way. The mass of kids gathered in the yard didn’t seem to notice the cold weather as they waited their turn to see St. Nick.
The fake snow covered the lower branches of the Christmas tree and the rainbow lights brought a cheerful, rosy glow to the surrounding families, adding to the atmosphere of holiday spirit that filled the evening air.
“Just the fact that there’s lots of families coming out and enjoying the day and all this fun family stuff is great,” said Officer Tina Durham, a member of the Elk Grove Police Department who helped block off the road for the ceremony.