Grand Illumination rings in the season

Published 9:27 pm Friday, November 17, 2023

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Shouts of joy from children and adults of all ages began the Christmas season Friday, Nov. 17 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. Once the tree was lit, Santa arrived in a horse-drawn carriage and met with each family to hear the children’s Christmas wishes. 

While waiting to visit with 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. 

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There were also Christmas ornament crafts for the children to make and light up yo-yos to enjoy.

A puppet show entertained families as they enjoyed the mild evening. Hot chocolate, popcorn and other food was sold nearby for an extra bit of Christmas cheer. 

Across the road, a couple of horse-drawn carriages gave rides down Prentis Street. 

The Grand Illumination was among the first of many Christmas festivities in the city. The Festival of Lights at Sleepy Hole Park will be open 5-9 p.m. Nov. 24-31. 

The Suffolk Holiday Christmas parade takes place beginning at 7 p.m. Dec. 9 in downtown Suffolk.