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Holiday festivities to provide sweet treats, drive-thru meets with Santa Claus

PMG FILE PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - The city of Sandy will host a tree lighting ceremony from 6-7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, in Centennial Plaza.Christmas is just around the corner, and in anticipation, the city of Sandy will host a tree lighting ceremony from 6-7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3. Similar to last year's event, it will take on a drive-thru/walk through format, but all of the trappings of the annual festivity are still promised.

To drive-thru the event, people will be directed to drive down Hoffman Avenue parallel to the plaza, where they will get a good view of the lit tree and receive many sweet treats.

Community icon DJ Anderson will emcee the livestream of the affair. Mayor Stan Pulliam will lead the countdown to the moment the tree lights up Centennial Plaza, 39295 Pioneer Blvd.

The lighting itself will take place within the first five minutes of the event. But before that, for an hour and a half, elves employed by the city of Sandy and Santa himself will be in the plaza to hand out cookies, popcorn, cocoa and take-home crafts and to collect letters for St. Nick and gift donations for the Sandy Kiwanis Christmas Basket Program.

The cocoa is provided by AntFarm Cafe & Bakery and the cookies will be from Tollgate Inn Bakery.

The take-and-make craft to be handed out is the same as last year. Children and families are encouraged to use the supplies given to create a holiday card for seniors in the community. Return the finished products to Sandy Public Library, 38980 Proctor Blvd., or Hoodland Library, 24525 E. Welches Road, before Dec. 20. Craft kits can also be picked up from the libraries before the tree lighting.

"That (craft) was super popular last year," said Sarah McIntyre, event coordinator and library executive director. "I hope people are as excited to do that this year."

Cards are delivered to residents of local senior care facilities once collected.

McIntyre described the event as a "city-wide" event, since every department of the municipality has some hand in providing the festivities for the community.

"Public Works gets the tree (from Knapp Farms) and sets it up," she explained. "Then the community/senior center, library and transit staff members work to host the event together, direct traffic."

Though the Sandy High choir won't be in attendance to provide holiday tunes, the city does plan to pipe in music to set the festive mood.

"It's great to see all the happy faces drive through," McIntyre said. "It's super fun to see everyone. I felt like last year the community was so appreciative. It was great to get out there and be part of the community again. It should be fun."

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