A young voice in the crowd rang out clearly as a dozen fire trucks, sirens blaring, escorted Santa to the South Whitehall Township building on Saturday night: “There he is! Santa!”
The arrival of Santa was the highlight of South Whitehall Township’s 35th annual tree lighting ceremony – a true community event.
About 100 people attended the event Saturday night as temperatures hovered in the 30s. But at least this year, unlike last year, it wasn’t snowing.
As he watched the crowd assembling, Township Manager Jon Hammer said, “It’s a nice mix of young and old. We do this to get the community together.
“South Whitehall is a wonderful community to raise your children and this is a symbol of that,” Hammer said.
During the ceremony, St. Joseph The Worker Church Choir, directed by David G. Knerr, sang several songs.
Debbie Jack, director of the Parkland Community Library, read “Twas the Night Before Christmas”.
Tori Morgan, president of the township Board of Commissioners, told the crowd, “Community spirit and pride runs deep in South Whitehall Township.” Morgan led the crowd in a countdown for the tree lighting, followed by some holiday songs.
Then came the climax as Santa was escorted to the site with trucks from four fire departments: Cetronia, Woodlawn, Greenawalds and Tri-Clover.
“It’s wonderful to see the kids get excited to see Santa arriving,” said Julie Johnson, wife of Tri-Clover Fire Chief Jeff Johnson.
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