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Milton welcomes in the holidays with tree lighting

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The holiday season went into full swing Dec. 6, when the annual Milton tree lighting took place at City Hall. The tree lighting was presented by Santa Claus himself, arriving with full fanfare on a sleigh pulled by a fire truck.

After the lighting, Santa took the time to appease a near endless line of children, and let them sit on his lap and tell him what they want for Christmas. But children were able to get more than just a picture with Santa, as donations from the community and the Milton Police presented children with a plethora of gifts to choose from after talking to the jolly red man. Hundreds of toys were all set up on rows of tables, resembling Santa’s work shop.

Toys included everything from toy airplanes to parachute men to blankets and dolls. Children who came to see Santa and his elves got to wander through the rows of toys and grab one.

The event had over 100 Milton residents show up to support the community. Students from Endeavor Intermediate School led the gathered crowd in renditions of Christmas carols and holiday songs.

“It helps everyone get in the Christmas spirit and that’s what its all about, being here, like this, that’s what it’s about. Because we need it, especially this year, I think we all need it,” Milton City Councilmember Bryan Ott said.

Donors to the toy give away included a toy warehouse in Fife, the Milton Police and local residents, like the Ott family.

The toy give away has been a part of the tree lighting for five years, and has increased in size every year. This year, rangers from Joint Base Lewis McCord helped set up the event before Santa arrived.

“The city sponsors those guys. They helped set all of this up this year, that was an amazing feat,” Ott said.

“It’s important for me because my son passed away, and I’d like to have every kid have something special on a special day, so no one feels left out,” JBLM Ranger Dale Blackmur said.

Santa spent the day traveling around the city of Milton with an entourage of fans on the Santa bus, spreading Christmas joy all across the town. The tour ended back at City Hall, and kids rushed Santa as he stepped out of his sleigh and underneath the large tree that serves as the center of holiday spirit in the town of Milton. Santa then led the town in a countdown to the lighting of the tree.

While Santa toured around the city, kids were invited to create holiday crafts at city council chambers, allowing kids to release their creative tendencies in a group, with friends and supervision.

As a special bonus, ornaments made of glass were given to the seniors and volunteers at the event, as a reminder of the 2014 holiday season.

The Milton Christmas tree is on display at Milton City Hall, located at 1000 Laurel St.