City celebrates with annual tree lighting and festivities

by: VERN UYETAKE - Santa counts down the lighting of the tree in front of city hall Nov. 30.Santa worked his magic once again this year and cleared the rain just long enough to light the tree outside of West Linn City Hall on Nov. 30 for the city’s 11th annual community tree lighting.

A large crowd had gathered, despite the weather, to help usher in the holiday season in West Linn. Riding in on the back of Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue engine 29, Santa greeted children on his way to his first priority — lighting the tree.

“Can you believe Santa is here? He rode in on a fire truck. How cool is that?” a mother told her child.

With a hearty cheer of “Merry Christmas,” Santa started the countdown. Residents cheered as the lights on the tree glistened in the night.

“Merry Christmas! Jingle bells, jingle bells,” Santa declared after the tree was lit.

Following Santa’s lead, the large crowd broke into a round of “Jingle Bells” before splitting off and taking advantage of the activities planned for the evening.

High on the list for young and old alike was the cookie and ornament decorating held in the West Linn council chambers. It was a packed house with lots of frosting and finger-licking happening as serious cookie decorators went about creating and then eating their works of art.

“The best part of the tree lighting is eating all the food and feeling like a kid again,” Old Time Fair Princess Leah Olson said.

Back outside, the line was plenty long to have a photo taken with Santa. Again Santa came through with a jolly smile and coaxed even the most reluctant youngsters to pose for a photo or two.

“Here’s the deal — Santa doesn’t make ponies. I only have a toy shop,” Santa responded to a girl pleading for a pony for Christmas.

Next on Santa’s list of preholiday activities is West Linn’s annual holiday parade being held this Saturday at 10 a.m. on Willamette Falls Drive in the historic Willamette area. For more information about this event, pick up a copy of the Dec. 6 West Linn Tidings and turn to page A9.

by: VERN UYETAKE - Kane Bailey and his son, 2-year-old Aiden, decorate a cookie inside city hall as part of the citys tree-lighting events.

by: VERN UYETAKE - The tree in front of city hall is decked out in lights and decorations for the holidays.

by: VERN UYETAKE - Jeff Amato and his daughter, Izzy, enjoy the tree-lighting festivities.

by: VERN UYETAKE - Santa greets 4-year-old Judah Sundstrom of West Linn.

by: VERN UYETAKE - Ellis Highland, left, and Abigail Orth enjoy the Radio Disney show.

by: VERN UYETAKE - Lucy Troxel, 3, decorates a Christmas ornament.

by: VERN UYETAKE - Leela Murphy gets a bag of popcorn at the West Linn tree lighting.

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