We went to the annual courthouse lighting ceremony last night. This year we had quite a crowd of our own, including Howie’s mom, brother and sister-in-law, niece, four great-nieces and one great-nephew. Add to that our best friends and their three kids. Our friend Mark came by, too.
We’ve been going ten or eleven years now, attending more years than not. I think I’ve mentioned it before. It’s always the day after Thanksgiving. The MC and various music groups take up the steps on one side of the courthouse, and at 7pm Santa makes his appearance, riding in on a firetruck. He ascends the steps, greeting the crowd on his way, and makes a big to-do with the kids.
He holds up an over-sized plug and extension cord socket, telling the crowd he needs their help to get the courthouse lit. He counts down with them, “One…Two…Three…MERRY CHRISTMAS!” and plug in the cord. A few lights flicker, but then go out.
He tells them they need to say it louder! Really shout it out! He leads them through a chorus of a Christmas song. Then, they try again, with more enthusiasm: “One…Two…Three…MERRY CHRISTMAS!”
More lights come on, but they waver and go out. The crowd utters “ohhhhhh…” and laughs. He’s so good at stringing along the people. The kids are SO into it, keyed up with anticipation. The crowd feels electric.
The third time he goes through this, the crowd’s single voice cries out so loudly it seems their number has tripled.
Some lights come to life, followed by others, and finally the rest light up, too. The crowd cheers and the last of the lights blink to life at the pinnacle of the old building. It’s a success!
Last year, I got a good video of it all. For whatever reason, I never uploaded it, so I did so today. Just pretend it’s 2007 — it’s not a whole lot different, I’d imagine. 😉
I wasn’t up to walking around in the crowd year. That bummed me out because there are so many great subjects to photograph. Still, it was good to see everyone. I hung out in Howie’s office with him and his mom as our friends and family took their kids around the square to see everything. We did leave the office door open, though, and listened to the music and goings-on through there.
Everyone came back to the office after the courthouse was lit and we had coffee, hot chocolate and cookies together. This year, we headed back to our house and had pizza with family – brother and sister-in-law, niece, four great-nieces and one great-nephew. We had our own crowd. 🙂