In preparation for his yearly worldwide trek from the North Pole on Christmas Eve, Santa Claus made a special stop in Manchester Township on Friday night at the community’s annual tree lighting ceremony.
Before a crowd of parents and children, Reverend David Rittinger of Whiting Bible Church began the evening with an invocation, and Council President Craig Wallis introduced his fellow members and members-elect of the governing body to a round of applause.
“It’s been a tough few months here in our area, but we’d like to welcome everyone to our tree lighting ceremony tonight,” said Wallis.
Local Cub Scout Pack 44 performed “Jingle Bells” and “Frosty the Snowman” for the audience, accompanied by instrumentation from Sheryl Claus and Laurie Barry.
Claus and Barry performed a medley next, comprised of "O Christmas Tree," "Dominic the Donkey" and "Little Drummer Boy." The musical portion of the evening was completed by Claus and Barry leading the Scouts in a spirited rendition of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”.
At that time, Councilman Brendan Weiner led the audience in counting down the lighting of the township’s Christmas Tree, which was adorned from top to bottom in gold and red bulbs.
Wallis also took several minutes to thank all of the township employees and volunteers who helped to bring the tree lighting ceremony to vivid life.
An engine roar could be heard farther down Colonial Drive, exciting the many children in attendance. The Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company had a famous passenger on their truck Friday night, who perhaps left his sled in the shop.
Santa Claus exited the truck and greeted many children on his way into town hall. There, he met still more children to wish them a Merry Christmas and hear their enthusiastic gift requests for the holidays, before bidding all a good night.