Despite the snow and cold, over a hundred families and children bundled up and headed to Allen Street to kick off the holiday season with the Holiday Tree Lighting on November 16.
The tree lighting ceremony is an annual event where community members can come together to sing carols, drink hot cocoa and visit with Santa, who arrived on a bright red fire truck driven by a team from the Alpha Fire company.
Attendees were encouraged to bring toys to donate to the Centre County Toys for Tots or non-perishable food items for the State College Area Food bank. Children who donated were entered in a drawing to help light the tree with Santa.
5-year-old Brighton Bean was the lucky one chosen to light the tree this year. The crowd counted down as Santa and Brighton worked some holiday magic and turned on the 5,000 lights that adorned the holiday tree. This year’s tree was donated by Chris and Michele, Luke and Anna Shaffer.
After the lighting, kids lined up to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus and tell them about their holiday wishes. Dan & Galla kept the crown singing and dancing throughout the night. The crowd also sang along to Christmas songs performed the Nittany Knights barbershop chorus. The celebration continued with performances by Central PA Dance Workshop, MindBodyArt School of Dance and the Performing Arts School of Central Pennsylvania.
Throughout the evening, attendees kept warm with hot cocoa and coffee donated by The Corner Room and enjoyed cookies donated by Webster’s Bookstore Cafe.
The night was full of fun, laughter and holiday cheer. The event was enjoyed by all, thanks to local volunteers and community members. The Downtown State College Improvement district is committed to enhancing the lives of those throughout Centre County.
Enjoy some photos of our favorite moments throughout the special night!