Goshen News, Goshen, IN

December 7, 2013

Tree lighting part of First Friday's Hometown Holiday events

Tree lighting part of First Friday's Hometown Holiday

By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL sherry.vanarsdall@goshennews.com
Goshen News

---- — GOSHEN — Ten-year-old Chylee Vidmar pulled the switch to light the Christmas tree on West Washington Street in downtown Goshen during First Fridays.

“It’s cute,” Chylee said, looking at the tree. “It was fun.”

She was this year’s ceremonial tree lighter along with Mayor Allan Kauffman during the “Hometown Holiday” celebration.

Before the tree was lit, the Chamberlain Children’s Choir sang Christmas carols on the First Fridays Stage. A wall of elementary parents and families filled the front of the stage, recording their children singing with electronic devices.

“I know my granddaughter (Florence Butler) anywhere,” said Nancy Butler, as she watched her six-year-old granddaughter sing. “Flo’s excited and I’m excited. It’s exciting for mom and dad, too. She’s my angel.”

Candles were distributed among the people in the crowd.

Six-year-old Sawyer Grimes held a lit candle while perched on his dad’s shoulders, Mark Grimes of Syracuse. His 10-year-old brother Bode Grimes stood beside the pair.

“I like holding the candle and I’m excited to see the tree lighting,” Bode said, smiling.

It was the first time they have attended the holiday event downtown, Grimes said.

The mayor played his accordion to accompany First Fridays volunteers during a community sing just before the lighting of the tree.

“Goshen is a special community,” Kauffman said. “This is the holiday season and we need to remember all those who aren’t as fortunate as we are and those who keep us safe.”

Then it was time for the countdown.

Clapping erupted from the crowd after the tree’s white and blue lights sparkled and danced from the light wind blowing during the evening’s events.