Old-fashioned yule spirit lights up C.P.

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Old-fashioned yule spirit lights up C.P.

Postby Big Dog » Sun Nov 19, 2006 4:16 am

Old-fashioned yule spirit lights up C.P.

BY ROYAL M. HOPPER III
Times Correspondent
CROWN POINT | Small town holiday cheer was one of the reasons Paul and Jeanie Lewis came to Crown Point.

Their former hometown, Aurora, Ill., was a much larger community where old-fashioned Christmas spirit like Friday's tree-lighting ceremony was hard to find.

They liked the Christian theme of the celebration, including the manger and the Christmas carols, they said.

They were among many listening to the high school choir tune up as they waited on the lawn of the Old Lake County Courthouse with Pepper and Missy, the family's pint-size family pets, for the event to begin.

Fourteen-year-old Sophia Toporski and her family attended their first tree-lighting ceremony Friday. Amber Berger, a shy 5-year-old of few words, said she was impressed by the tree's lights, but said her favorite part of the holidays was still the presents she hoped to receive on Christmas.

Friday's ceremony was an improved version of last year's inaugural lighting ceremony, which was inspired by similar tree-lighting ceremonies in Chicago, said Crown Point Mayor Dan Klein. After seeing them on television with his family for years, Klein said he and the city staff decided it was something Crown Point could do. With the city's population growing from an influx of new residents and longtime area residents looking to Crown Point to preserve the old-fashioned holiday spirit, it seemed the thing to do.

Last year city workers fought technical problems and stubborn Christmas lights.

This year, after the crowd's Christmas spirit was warmed up with Christmas carols and holiday songs by the school choir and their stomachs were warmed by free hot chocolate, the lights went on without a hitch.

Klein said he hoped to improve the ceremony every year, eventually lighting up the entire square with Christmas cheer and decorations.

"I want downtown Crown Point to be like a postcard in the minds of people who come here," Klein said about holiday decorating plans.

This story ran on nwitimes.com on Saturday, November 18, 2006 12:47 AM CST
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