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Estacada lights tree to celebrate the start of holiday season, and residents enjoy Santa's visit

ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - Young friends are all smiles under the Christmas tree during Estacada's annual Lights on Broadway event.

Estacada residents gathered around the city's Christmas tree to welcome the holiday season.

The city's annual Lights on Broadway tree-lighting celebration was held from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, at Harvest Market Square. In addition to watching in anticipation as the Christmas tree donned its bright lights, attendees enjoyed visiting with a special guest from the North Pole, live music by the Estacada Madrigal Singers and Estacada High School students, horse-drawn wagon rides through town and complimentary cookies and hot cocoa.

Estacada Mayor Sean Drinkwine said he enjoyed seeing residents gather for the festivities. He believes the event encapsulates the holiday spirit.

"It doesn't get much better than this," he said. "I love seeing everyone together for cookies and hot chocolate, and the smells in the air. Just standing here makes that Christmas feeling grow."

Everyone was all smiles when a certain visitor from the North Pole arrived at the event. After an enthusiastic countdown, Santa Claus did the honors and turned on the Christmas tree lights.

Donated by Bruce and Diane Platt, the tree reached for the sky at approximately 40 feet.

Estacada residents new and old gathered at the event.

"I wanted to be part of the community, and what happens in Estacada," said Tina Gerba, who recently moved to town.

Local photographer Larry Cutler enjoyed opportunities to take shots that captured the holiday spirit.

"I love taking pictures," he said. "All the lights are shiny. I like when the tree gets lit and, of course, Santa."

Cari Frederick and her son Charlie wore matching Christmas tree light necklaces to the event. Cari said her favorite part of the evening was listening to her older children sing with the high school band and choir, and Charlie enjoyed the wagon rides through town.

Jane Reid appreciated the community feeling that the event created to kick off this year's holiday season.

"I love coming down here and seeing all of the families and people," she said. "It's exciting to see this space filled up."

ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - Santa visits with a young friend during the city of Estacada's Christmas tree lighting event.

ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - The Estacada Madrigal Singers performed during the city of Estacadas tree lighting event.

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