DENHAM SPRINGS -- It took a week longer than expected, but the 15-foot Christmas tree at Train Station Park finally lit up on Thursday, Dec. 14.
The Lighting of the Christmas Tree was originally scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 7, but the threat of inclement weather — which resulted in a rare snow day in Livingston Parish — forced the Denham Springs Kiwanis Club to push the lighting ceremony back one week.
Everything went according to plan on this night, which was one of the last scheduled events for the Antique Village’s month-long Christmas in the Village celebration.
Before the start of the scheduled program, First Baptist Church in Denham Springs offered free face painting for kids, Pelican State Credit Union partnered with CC’s Coffee House to serve free hot chocolate, and Luke 10:27 Church provided cookie decorating.
The program started at 6 p.m. with Kiwanis Club President Angela Wales thanking the crowd for coming in force to Train Station Park “on such a cold night” before turning the microphone over to Denham Springs Mayor Gerard Landry.
Landry, who is credited with the idea for Christmas in the Village, couldn’t hide his excitement when he looked at the large crowd of people standing or sitting on Railroad Avenue.
“We started Christmas in the Village three years ago, and look at how much it’s grown,” Landry said before leading everyone in the countdown for the Lighting of the Christma tree.
After the tree was lit, the Young Artist Academy Gospel Choir and the Livingston Parish Children’s Choir performed a small concert from the steps of Train Station Park.
The choirs sang separately before coming together for a five-song finale to close the ceremony: “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer,” “Jingle Bells,” “Joy to the World,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.”
The last scheduled event for Christmas in the Village will be a live nativity program at Train Station Park from 6-7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16. Livingston Parish SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) will put on the program, which will include live animals, singing, and dress-up photo opportunities.