On Tuesday, December 4 Christmas will come to Lone Grove with the annual tree lighting. The evening will be held in front of the Lone Grove Fire Department and is scheduled to kick off at 6:30 p.m. Santa himself will be traveling from the North Pole to light the tree at 7 p.m.
“We had a tree lighting for several years, then they just kind of stopped doing it,” City Manager Ian O’Neal said. “We brought it back around five years ago. Last year we had around 200 people come through, and it seems to be getting a little bigger each year.” He went on to say that one of the biggest factors influencing attendance was the weather.
Nikki Stewart is helping to plan the event and she described some of the events that will be occurring.
“The Little Local Vocals will begin at 6:30,” Stewart said. The Lone Grove High School Band will also be at the event giving a performance. “We’ll also have face painting, some games for the kids, and door prizes for kids and adults that have been donated by local businesses.”
“Last year we gave away around $3,000 in cash to kids and adults,” O’Neal said. “Our merchants really always come through for us, and it can be anything from cash to bicycles to a Yeti cup and anything in between.”
O’Neal also said they try to do something a little different every year, so that’s why they are trying out the Christmas-themed games. This year a local church is also furnishing free hot cocoa, hot apple cider, and cookies so everyone can keep warm while waiting on Santa to arrive.
“It’s always a really good time. We hope to have a good crowd again this year,” O’Neal said.