Grand Illumination brings joy to all ages

Published 10:15 pm Friday, November 18, 2022

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Shouts of glee from children of all ages began the Christmas season Friday evening as the 32-foot Christmas tree lit up at Market Park near the Suffolk Seaboard Station Railroad Museum.

Mayor Mike Duman with his dog, Holly, led the children in a countdown to the lighting and then again to call for Santa. After several calls, Duman joked that Santa must have gotten delayed by a train.

Finally, to the delight of all, Santa arrived and met with each family to ask the children what they wanted for Christmas. Children’s Christmas wishes ranged from Legos to ponies, but thankfully for Santa, no hippopotamuses were requested.

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While waiting for Santa, children could write their lists and drop them in the North Pole mailbox. Volunteers assured them the letters would be sent express to Santa’s workshop so the elves could get started on making all the toys.

A puppet show entertained families as they warmed up from the chilly night in a heated tent. Hot chocolate was sold nearby for an extra bit of coziness.

Across the road, a horse-drawn carriage gave rides down Prentis Street.

The Grand Illumination was among the first of many holiday festivities in the city. The Festival of Lights at Sleepy Hole Park opens Nov. 25 and will remain open until Dec. 30.

The Suffolk Holiday Christmas parade will take place beginning at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 in downtown Suffolk.

Watch the tree lighting here