LORDSTOWN - The village was brimming with the holiday spirit Friday evening as carols filled the air, and even Santa Claus made an early appearance to cap off the annual tree-lighting ceremony at the township park.
A large crowd braved the bitter cold to celebrate the Christmas season, an event Lordstown has hosted for decades near the fire department.
"Since our building is connected (to the park), everyone associates us with all these events," Jim Carrel, a member of the fire department, said. "We like it that way. We're fortunate that, when a lot of departments are struggling, the community really supports us.
Many residents gathered Friday evening as Lordstown held its annual lighting ceremony at the township park off Salt Springs Road. Above, the Lordstown Fire Department, which hosted the ceremony, displayed a nativity scene outside the building.
Photo by Ashley Newman
"That's why we like giving back when we can."
Among the events during the two-hour long lighting ceremony were a dance performance by Momentum Dance, sing-alongs and carols, as well as a reading of Clement C. Moore's ''A Visit from St. Nicholas ('''Twas the Night Before Christmas'') by 5-year-old Camryn Mark.
Following the festivities, those in attendance were treated to refreshments and a visit by Santa Claus.
Tree-lighting ceremonies include:
Today - McDonald, 6:30 p.m. by the fire station off Ohio Avenue
Sunday - Bristol, 6 p.m. at township center park.
Monday - Niles, 6:30 p.m. at fire station.
Thursday - Seeking God's Glory Church, 3217 Surrey Road, Warren, 8 p.m.
Dec. 7 - Southington, 6:45 p.m. at township gazebo.
Finally, the fire department flipped the switch to the Christmas lights, which line the perimeter of the park. The light displays include a grouping of candy canes, Santa and his reindeer, a nativity scene and other Christmas-related imagery.
Lisa Mark, owner of Momentum Dance, said the girls in her dance troupe look forward to events like the tree-lighting all year for a chance to show off their moves.
"Since we are non-competitive, we are set up to entertain the community," Mark said. "This is the community where our studio is, so it is important that we get everyone in the holiday spirit. The kids really love it."
According to Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill, the ceremony has become a treasured tradition for the village, children and adults alike.
"It gets everyone in the holiday spirit," Hill said.
Reda and Martin Nelder, who have lived in the village for more than 35 years, were among those on hand for the lighting.
"We've been coming out to this for at least the last 10 years, if not longer," Nelder said. "It's just a fun thing to get everyone together."
The lighting is one of several across Trumbull and Mahoning counties over the coming weeks.