tree lighting

Santa greets children at a previous holiday lighting festival on the Canton Village Green. Watertown Daily Times

CANTON — When Marilyn I. Mintener was elected mayor of Canton in 1984, Brad Mintener recalled Marilyn’s mother, Lena LaDuke Infantine, offering some advice: “If you do nothing else as mayor, do something about those Charlie Brown string lights on Main Street.”

So, in 1984, inspired by the Michigan Avenue lights of Chicago, the Village of Canton trees lining Main Street were strung with hundreds of little white lights.

Now, for the 35th year, lit by those little white lights, the Village will celebrate the coming holiday season with the Annual Canton Holiday of Lights Festival Kickoff. The festivities will begin at 6 p.m. Friday on the Canton Village Green, where Santa Claus will arrive in horse-drawn carriage and festival master of ceremonies Brad Mintener will assist with lighting the village trees. The annual celebration is organized by a committee of community members and sponsored by individuals, churches and businesses in Canton.

The celebration will feature the multi-colored Robin Crowell Memorial and blue-lit Veterans’ Memorial trees, appearances from Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Honey Bear and Sparky the Dalmation Fire Dog, and Santa will visit with children at center stage and offer a book and candy cane to each child. Cookies and hot chocolate will be available at First Presbyterian Church, and Diane Foote will lead carol singing.

“One of the things we hope people will learn at Christmas is that in receiving, we learn how to give,” Mr. Mintener said. The long-held tradition, Mr. Mintener said, welcomes people of all ages, and when the Green is officially lit for the holidays, it becomes a space of heartwarming joy.

“It’s a whole different view,” he said

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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