By Janet Wetzel
FRANKLIN - This Warren County city's first community tree lighting festivities will begin 5:45 p.m. Monday at the new city building, 35 E. Fourth St.
The event will kick off with the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus in a firetruck. City council members will then light the tree. Steven Lake, a local elementary school teacher and a family band member, will serve as emcee.
Other highlights include: Benjamin Franklin will make an appearance and lead the crowd in song; the devotion will be given by the Rev. Diann O'Bryant of First United Methodist Church of Franklin; the Vintage Voices of Franklin will sing, and a brass ensemble and the Madrigral Singers from Franklin High School will perform.
Fourteen banners, which were designed and painted by the Franklin High School art classes, also will be on display on Main Street.
A Jack Frost and Jill Snowflake pageant will feature toddlers through pre-schoolers. Entrants will be judged on poise, appearance and costume. Jingles the Clown will entertain with balloon sculptures. There will be an Oreo cookie-stacking contest and a jacks competition. A prize will be awarded for the best Victorian outfit.
There will be food and drink booths. The Franklin High School home economics class will be selling candy and taking orders for Christmas.
When the city's new administrative building was built in 2003, the city's special events committee asked that a tree be planted to begin an the annual ceremony. The tree will be decorated in red, white and blue lights this year, dedicated to the military troops overseas.
Meanwhile, in nearby Carlisle, the annual tree-lighting ceremony is 7 p.m. Monday at Carlisle Town Hall, 760 West Central Ave.
Members of the Carlisle High School Band will open the ceremony with music, followed by the singing of Christmas carols and the lighting of the official tree.
Santa will ride into town on a firetruck. Festivities will then move next door to New Jersey Presbyterian Church, where cookies and hot chocolate will be available. Children will have time to visit with Santa at the church and tell him what they want for Christmas.
When: Monday at 5:45 p.m.
Where: New city building, 35 E. Fourth St.
When: Monday at 7 p.m.
Where: Town Hall, 760 West Central Ave.
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