Santa Claus had a throne on which to sit and perch children in his lap to hear their Christmas wish lists Saturday (Dec. 1) in Duluth. Santa arrived on the Duluth Town Green in a sleigh pulled by live reindeer after the huge tree next to the Duluth Festival Center was illuminated.
Santa quickly alighted from his sleigh and headed to the center’s stage to greet children who lined up to see him. Parents gathered around with cameras to record their children’s encounters with Santa. Elves handed out candy canes to the youngsters.
The tall wooden throne cushioned in red velvet was built by Santa and his elves. In recent years, children were lifted into the sleigh to visit with Santa and pose for pictures with him.
An estimated 4,000 to 5,000 grandparents, parents and children turned out for the traditional Tree Lighting Ceremony. While awaiting Santa’s arrival, they were entertained with a program of holiday music performed by choruses from Duluth High School and B.B. Harris Elementary School. The lights were switched on as soloist Leah Cagle sang “O Holy Night!”
Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris and emcee Brooks Coleman welcomed everyone. Congressman Rob Woodall shared holiday greetings with the crowd.
An Open House at Duluth City Hall, festively decorated for the holidays, preceded the Tree Lighting Ceremony. Children enjoyed games and crafts on the Town Green.
The Tree Lighting was sponsored by the City of Duluth and the Duluth Fall Festival.