Fellowship, pride and holiday cheer

Swartz Creek to kick off holiday season with downtown tree lighting Monday

SWARTZ CREEK – The GFWC – Swartz Creek Women’s Club will present the inaugural community tree lighting at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 20, at the corner of Holland Drive and Miller Road in downtown Swartz Creek.

The tree, which stands taller than 14 feet, was donated in memory of James Petiprin, who owned the nowclosed Petiprin’s Tree Farm in Mundy Township. Jared Whittey, owner of LPL Financial, procured the tree and is making a stand.

The tree will be decorated and a member of the Women’s Club will have the honor of lighting the lights at the stroke of six.

The Rev. Aaron Kesson, pastor at the United Methodist Church of Swartz Creek, will lead the community in a prayer, followed by caroling.

The Swartz Creek Madrigals will perform, and some of Santa’s elves will be on hand to give out candy canes and information about the Christmas in the Creek events and the Swartz Creek Area Fighters Inc. Christmas parade, set for Saturday, Dec. 2.

“It’s going to be fun,” said tree lighting committee Chairwoman Sandi Brill. “With all that’s going on in the world, we have to remember the goodness of people, and focus on the hope of Christmas. This community is like no other; we should be thankful for that and celebrate that. We are blessed.”

The event was created to give area residents a sense of pride in their community, and promote fellowship, joy and the spirit of the season.

Brill, who grew up in Swartz Creek in a family very active in the community, does not recall another tree lighting ceremony in town.

“If we can have it every year, it will be really cool,” said Brill. “We’re already thinking about next year.”

The Women’s Club also will present Christmas in the Creek, an afternoon of festive activities, Dec. 2. Events begin at noon and include a team challenge, storytelling and singing in the library with Miss “Christmas” Carol, a penguin egg hunt (colored ice cubes), excerpts from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” performed by Swartz Creek Center Stage at the Pajtas Theater, hot chocolate and coffee at the senior center, beard and ugly sweater contests and more. Everything is free.

In addition, the 2nd annual Christmas in the Creek progressive business open house will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 2. Local businesses will offer samples, discounts, coupons and goodies. Event organizer Nicole LaBeau, owner of LaBeau Salon & Massage Studio, will give away gift bags to the first 100 visitors. There will be a scavenger hunt for prizes and more.

The highlight of the days’ fun and frivolity is the 33rd annual Christmas parade sponsored by the Swartz Creek Area Firefighters Inc. The parade begins at 6 p.m. at the middle school and proceeds north on Fairchild Street, east on Miller Road through downtown, north on Morrish Road and west on Fortino Drive, ending at Fire Station #1.

The firefighters will provide music, visits with Santa, cider and doughnuts and parade awards for the best walking, motorized and fire truck entries.

To participate in the parade, visit the fire department website, www.scafd.com, and click on the Events link to navigate to the parade page.

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