Hot chocolate, horse-drawn carriage rides, live reindeer and Santa Claus himself will be part of Hamilton’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony that will start at 5 p.m. today and run until 8 p.m.
The event will be at Marcum Park, and then move to the Courtyard by Marriott, where Santa and his elves will visit with children in the ballroom. After the tree lighting, the Fairfield-based band Moment 44 will play from a balcony at the Marcum Apartments.
“It is going to be a great event,” said Hamilton City Council Member Carla Fiehrer, a member of the Hamilton Welcomes the Holidays committee. “Last year we had over 2,500 people. It was very well-received this year.”
With the live reindeer, “kids loved being able to see that,” she said. “We have expanded it again this year with more events” she said. Children can write letters to Santa, and then give them to him.
“After Santa lights the tree, he’ll be going into the hotel, and he’ll be visiting with the kids for an hour and a half afterwards,” she said.
Before Santa arrives, each child will receive a wristband with jingle bells they can ring to welcome him. There also will be face painting and tattoos; balloon artists; a photo booth; crafts table and ornament sales.
US Bank and AllWealth Federal Credit Union will provide the refreshments, cookies and hot chocolate, and there also will be food trucks.
Elementary students will sing from 5:30-6 p.m. at the RiversEdge stage. Ohio Magazine will present an award to officials for Hamilton being named one of the state’s “Best Hometowns” for 2019, along with Fremont, Gallipolis, Hartville and Newark.
“We’re excited to be celebrating and kicking off the holiday season,” Fiehrer said.
Some were disappointed that the tree lighting was moved last year from the historic county courthouse downtown to Marcum Park, which city officials are working to make the city’s front lawn.
According to the Hamilton Welcomes the Holidays schedule posted on Facebook, the elementary singing will happen from 5:30-6 p.m. and the tree lighting will happen at 6:15 p.m., with Santa in the ballroom and the band on the balcony from 6:30 p.m.
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