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Getting into a Christmas state of mind, with Santa on his way and trees alight

With plenty of snow on the ground to get you in the holiday spirit, it’s time to start thinking about upcoming Christmas events.
The Elmira Santa Claus Parade will be making its way down Arthur Street on December 6 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Organized by the Elmira Kiwanis Club, the parade is in its 21st year.
Also that day, in St. Clements the Paradise and District Lions Club will hold its seventh annual Tree of Light ceremony. It goes that evening at 6 p.m. outside of the library.
In Elmira, Tami Runstedler said many businesses will be staying open to as late as 10 or 11 p.m. that night to help people get some early Christmas shopping done. Something new this year will be horse-drawn trolley rides. Those will be going on from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and the pickup location will be behind the Shell gas station.
“We’re just taking a really good event that we’ve always had in downtown Elmira and hopefully bringing some awareness to it,” Runstedler said.
Santa will be taking pictures with the kids from 6:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. And if you miss him he’ll be popping into shops downtown throughout the evening.
“There will hopefully be Christmas carols going on there as well,” Runstedler said. “There are fire barrels that are always downtown to add to the atmosphere and the quaintness of our traditional downtown.”
Those will be manned by Elmira firefighters, along with the tree lighting in front of the Elmira library at 6:30 p.m.
“It’s just a really great little festive way to kick off some holiday shopping in the holiday area. It’s great for the whole family with the tree lighting.”
Runstedler said she’d like to see Moonlight Madness be a success this year, with people downtown enjoying the stores and services.
“Hopefully more people will come downtown to their own community but also bring more people from outside of town and make them aware of our great little shops and the uniqueness of our downtown.”
In St. Clements, where bulbs for the Tree of Light are on sale through December 5, donations for the tree lighting will go to support Innisfree House, a hospice in Kitchener for people coping with a terminal illness, which is expected to open in the spring of 2015. Last year, the Lions Club raised more than $5,000 for the Arthritis Society Juvenile Arthritis Research Fund and the Cystinosis Awareness and Research Effort.
Santa will be making an appearance at 5:45 p.m.

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