SYRACUSE — Despite the chilly, drizzly weather that covered Kosciusko County on Saturday evening, Santa Claus made his highly anticipated 6:30 p.m. arrival at Veterans Memorial Park in Syracuse. Ready to greet him were dozens of anxious children and their heat-deprived families.
The town’s annual Holiday Magic celebration kicked off at 5 p.m. with students from Syracuse Elementary warming the night air with their renditions of familiar Christmas music. Following their half-hour holiday concert, their older choral brethren from Wawasee Middle School took their turn entertaining the gathered crowd.
After the middle schoolers finished with their music set, Santa finally made his entrance via a Turkey Creek Fire Territory fire truck, and the excitement on the faces of children who were awaiting his arrival was palpable. Followed by a throng of youngsters eager to share their holiday wish lists, the jolly old elf made his way across the park to take on the task of lighting the town’s Christmas tree with a hearty push of the plunger. Immediately after the official lighting, kids lined up to visit Santa, take pictures, share their special desires and receive a candy cane for their efforts.
Throughout the evening’s festivities, the town of Syracuse provided cookies and hot cocoa to everyone in attendance.
Earlier in the day, Lakeland Youth Center hosted its annual gingerbread house building event. Dozens of young architects of all ages came to put their own spin on a holiday tradition, using a variety of edible goodies.