CLAYTON — Thursday night the City of Clayton held its annual tree lighting ceremony in front of the government center and a special guest appeared thrilling youngsters attending the event.
As Mayor Joyce Deitering led the crowd singing Christmas carols around the tree, the sounds of a siren began blasting in the chilly night air. The siren erupted as everyone was singing ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town.’ A Clayton fire engine pulled up and Santa climbed down from the cab and began waving to the crowd.
Santa made his way to the entrance of the government center where Mayor Deitering asked Jolly Old Saint Nick if he would flip the switch to light the Christmas tree. Santa gladly agreed and turned on the lights as the crowd applauded. Santa then made his way inside where he sat in his big wooden chair in the lobby of the government center to visit with children and to take note of their Christmas gift requests.
Parents and kids alike snacked on Christmas cookies and sipped hot chocolate while Santa visited with the children.
“I always look forward to my visit to Clayton, which is home to some of the nicest boys and girls in the entire world,” Santa said.
After visiting with the children Santa made his way back outside where Clayton fire personnel transported him back to Meadowbrook at Clayton golf course, where Santa landed his sleigh.
“It is always difficult to land the sleigh when there is no snow, but we found a nice smooth fairway to land on and the landing turned out to be much smoother than I expected,” Santa added as he departed.
As the fire engine drove off Santa could be heard chuckling loudly before calling out, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”
Austyn Moore sits on Santa’s lap Thursday in the lobby of the Clayton Government Center.
Clayton Mayor Joyce Deitering leads the singing of Christmas carols around the tree in front of the government center.
Santa waves to the crowd after arriving at the government center on a Clayton fire engine.
Santa flips the switch to light Clayton’s Christmas tree.
Clayton Councilman Kenneth Henning sits on Santa’s lap and tries to convince Jolly Old Saint Nick that he has been a good boy this year.
Ron Nunnari can be reached at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind