Santa couldn't have asked for a better night to fly into Wilder Park Thursday. Well, he actually arrived on an Elmhurst fire truck, but to great weather, nonetheless.
Throngs of screaming kids met him at the east entrance to the park, and he quickly disappeared into the crowd of thousands. In fact, there were so many people at Elmhurst Park District's annual tree lighting at Wilder Park that park Executive Director Rich Grodsky said he believes it was the biggest crowd yet.
The crowds were there to see Santa, of course, but also to hear the Hawthorne Elementary School choir, watch the Park District's Impact Dancers, and laugh along with Those Funny Little People, all on the Park District stage. There was just enough of a chill in the air to make the free hot chocolate and cookies a welcome treat.
Park officials led the countdown to the lighting of dozens of Christmas trees surrounding the park. Each tree is cleverly decorated by various community groups, Girl Scout troops, churches, preschools and families. A community tree located at the center of the park served as a drop-off point for donations to local food pantries.
The event also was sponsored by Got It! … in Elmhurst.
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