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By Liz Shepherd
WINONA LAKE — Hundreds gathered in The Village at Winona for the annual tree lighting ceremony.
Each year, a student from Jefferson Elementary School is chosen to light the tree. Violet Wonderly had that privilege this year and did so with assistance from the Winona Lake Fire Department.
There were various activities for families to do prior to the tree lighting, including meeting Santa Claus, enjoying free cookies and hot chocolate, making ornaments, and viewing holiday lights.
New and unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots were also collected as admission into the event.
“We’re such a small, tight-knit community that this is kind of like our Hallmark movie night,” said The Village Managing Director Nick Hauck. “It’s awesome that everyone comes together and celebrates the kickoff for the holiday.”