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Biggest Crowd Yet Attends Annual Wilder Park Tree Lighting Thursday

With this fourth and final Elmhurst tree lighting, let the holidays begin.

Santa couldn't have asked for a better night to fly into 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.

Tree lightings also were held at the , at and at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital.

Do you have photos of the Wilder Park tree lighting you'd like to share? Upload them here.

Dave Noble December 04, 2011 at 02:56 AM
Why was this the "final" year of the tree lighting?
Karen Chadra (Editor) December 04, 2011 at 05:55 AM
It was the fourth tree-lighting of the year. Not the final year of the tree-lighting. Sorry for the confusion :)

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