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Sandyites celebrate holiday spirit with not-so-silent night in Centennial Plaza

POST PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN  - Jenni Heller and her son Caydon enjoy the tree decorations after the Friday festivities. 'Twas three weeks before Christmas, when in the center of town a Christmas tree lighting drew quite a crowd.

Children sang carols with festive flair, and Mayor Bill King, Queen Sandi Poutala and St. Nicholas were among those mingling.

So many people showed up to the city's Christmas tree lighting event, in fact, that the extra three gallons of hot cocoa the city bought were gone within the first hour, and so were the holiday cookies.

City Councilor John Hamblin estimated about 200 people rode the Sandy trolley through his festively lit neighborhood that night, and many children took home a bright red balloon from the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce's fundraiser to adopt a family — and a shop local coupon book — for Christmas.

Several tiny tots got their picture taken with Santa and played beneath the tree after it was lit, gleefully escaping their parents attempts to snap photos on their smartphones long after the festivities were over.

The tree donated by Bill Knapp now illuminates the Centennial Plaza every evening.

"(The tree lighting) has become more of a social event," Mayor King reported at the Dec. 4 City Council Meeting. "It's just bringing more and more people together during the holiday season, and I just love that."

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