RACINE — Racine hosted its first “Tree-Mendous” Christmas on Saturday evening with crowds of people lining the streets for the parade and packing the park for activities despite the cold temperatures.
Several floats and vehicles were decorated in lights as they paraded through the Village of Racine on Saturday night, part of the lighted parade.
The below freezing temperatures did not stop the crowd from sharing some Christmas cheer. Following the parade there was the tree lighting, pictures with Santa and hot chocolate to help warm up at Star Mill Park.
Santa and The Grinch even came into town to celebrate Christmas.
“I was amazed at the turnout we had. I was afraid that since it was so cold, it might scare people off,” said Councilwoman Ashli Peterman. “Everyone that showed up to be in the parade was awesome. Then when I got to the park, I was stunned. It turned out better than I had ever imagined it would being the first year. My heart was so full.”
Peterman said that the event was the work of many.
Council members worked to decorate, as well as the village workers lending a helping hand wherever needed. RACO provided hot chocolate for attendees and donated the parade prizes, with the bake-off prizes donated by Melanie Quillen. The tree for the park was donated by Shuler’s Tree Farm. Cliff Thomas (Skye Productions) donated his DJ equipment and played music.
“It was a little bit of everyone pitching in to help make it happen,” added Peterman.
During the activities in Star Mill Park, Mayor Scott Hill read Twas the Night Before Christmas, with Pastor Duke Holbert reading the Christmas story from the Bible.
Chamber Executive Director Shelly Combs assisted with the judging of parade entries. The Racine Village Police Officers judged the bake-off.
“We definitely want to make this an annual event. We hope to only improve on what we had this year,” concluded Peterman.
Sentinel freelance writer Kayla Hawthorne and managing editor Sarah Hawley contributed to this report.