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From the News-Ledger
Dec. 15, 2010

LEFT: The holiday tree awaits lights in front of city hall on Dec. 10 (News-Ledger photo)

 Around 500 people showed up on Friday night to meet Santa, listen to some Christmas carols, have some hot chocolate and watch the city hall Christmas tree (well, technically, its “holiday tree”) be lit. The festive ceremony took place in a newly renovated stretch of West Capitol Avenue and enjoyed mild cool weather.

  The annual celebration has been popular for several years, said Denice Seals, executive director of the West Sacramento Chamber of Commerce.

  “This event started off with a huge response from the community,” she told the News-Ledger. “This year, we took over 200 photos of Santa with kids, and some of those were family photos. We had over 300 candy canes, and we went through every one, along with every cookie and all the hot chocolate. It was really fun to stage it out in the new streetscape.”

  Those visiting the city hall site for the first time in a year or more were treated to the site of new, wide sidewalks with freshly planted street trees, framing a corridor bordered on the other side by a new community college branch, city community center, bus stops and library branch.

  Music was provided by a children’s choir from Trinity Presbyterian Church and by youth from a Russian evangelical church on Sacramento Avenue – who gamely sang a capella when the sound system failed to provide accompaniment.

  Seals joined chamber president Chris Bradford, Mayor Christopher Cabaldon and others in the countdown to throwing the switch to light the live tree on the city hall lawn. A youngster named Donovan led the crowd in carols to help “sing in” Santa, who arrived on top of a fire truck, with police escort, and took up station to greet the kids and find out what they wanted for Christmas.

  If all goes well, the event will return next year.

The crowd listens as a youth choir from the local Russian evangelical church entertains with carols

(News-Ledger photo)

The Trinity Presbyterian Church children's choir sings for visitors

(Courtesy of W. Sac. Chamber of Commerce)

Santa arrives, coming to West Sacramento City Hall atop a fire truck

(News-Ledger photo)

After the holiday tree was properly electrified and lit, youngsters had a chance to line up for a visit with Santa Claus.  Each child had a chance for a free photo with Santa.

(News-Ledger photo)

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