Tree lighting kicks off holiday season in Lake Zurich
Lake Zurich four-year-old Chloe Cronnelly and her brothers Vincent (left) and Seamus (right) meet Santa Saturday during the village's annual tree lightning event at The Barn at Paulus Park. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 30, 2012 3:30PM
LAKE ZURICH — Lake Zurich celebrated its 25th annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Paulus Park on Saturday with carolers, hot cocoa and a visit from Santa.
The traditional holiday festivities brought at least 100 residents, many with kids in tow.
“It was a decent crowd. We were well-received,” said Anne Marie Conard, music librarian for Lake Zurich’s Village Singers, a signing troupe that entertained attendees with about a dozen carols at Saturday’s event.
“We put a decent package together for the holidays,” she added. “The audiences always love it. Everyone was having fun.”
Bonnie Matheson, recreation supervisor for the village, reported that the turnout was similar to past years.
“The weather cooperated, so it was successful,” she said. “Santa arrived in an old-time fire truck and the kids had a chance to sit and meet with him.”
After the sun went down, Santa and Village President Suzanne Branding hit the switch to light the holiday tree. The large pine, which is used every year as the village Christmas tree, now glows with a few thousand lights.
“They also have a lot of holiday decorations they put out there,” said Dale Perrin, executive director of the Lake Zurich Chamber of Commerce.
The village’s Public Works staff decorates the tree in town as well as the other community parks every year. The parks department contributes, too.
“We typically do this every year,” said Mike Brown, the Public Works Department’s superintendant for general services. “There are some people who really enjoy this. It’s good for the kids to come out and see Santa. It’s a great outing for everyone.”
The village Christmas tree previously was a large evergreen located in Breezewald Park, on the opposite side of the lake. About three years ago, Perrin explained, the event was moved and a new tree was picked due to a lack of an indoor facility at Breezewald. The Barn at Paulus Park provided a place for kids and families to go to get away from winter weather during the event.
“We decided to move it to Paulus Park and have Santa go inside after the tree-lighting,” Perrin said.
In any location, Brown said it was once again a pleasure for the Public Works Department to serve the community by lighting the tree. He said although the department has not received much community feedback throughout the years, rewards are not what the staff is after.
“It’s for the spirit of things,” he said.
Lake Zurich’s Insight Beverages donated the hot cocoa and Costco donated cookies for the event.