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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Christmas tree lights up downtown Chico

Photo credit: Ernesto Rivera

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Photographs by Ernesto Rivera

‘Twas three weeks before Christmas and all through downtown.

Children were stirring, waiting for Santa to come ’round.

Raindrops fell swiftly and sounds of alarms struck.

Out of nowhere appeared Santa, riding in an antique fire truck.

The Downtown Chico Business Association, in partnership with the City of Chico, held the annual “Celebrating the Magic of the Season” Community Christmas Tree lighting Friday in City Plaza.

Hundreds of community members gathered to watch the 60-foot Blue Atlas Cedar illuminate the night sky with more than 8,000 LED Christmas lights.

Chico resident and third-year tree lighting attendee Sarah Weller said she and her family enjoyed the event despite the soggy situation.

“It was beautiful,” she said. “We loved it and the girls thought it was amazing. The turnout was great, even with the rain.”

Action News Now anchor Tamara Damante and The Blaze on-air personality Mike Wessels hosted the event. Newly-appointed Mayor Mark Sorensen welcomed spectators and wished everyone a happy holidays.

Sounds of the Valley women’s chorus belted a barbershop version of the holiday classic “Jingle Bells” to begin the evening’s performances.

The Children’s Choir of Chico followed them with their adorable rendition of “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.”

Weller and her daughters Georgia and Amara waited in the pouring rain for a chance to tell Santa Claus their Christmas wishlist.

“I want a new bike,” said Georgia, with Christmas cheer.

“I asked Santa for a new backpack and lunchbox,” Amara said.

Mrs. Claus, portrayed by Frances Duty, answered the question everyone wants to know during the Christmas season. What is Mr. Claus’ favorite cookie?

“It changes from year-to-year,” she said. “One time it was broccoli cookies and those did not go over well with the kids. I think, this year, I’d have to say mango walnut. He picked that up from the time he was flying through Polynesia.”

David McVicker can be reached at [email protected] or @DavidPMcVicker on Twitter.

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