Hundreds gather for tree lighting at Fountain Square

Several hundred people turned out this evening at Fountain Square in Evanston to listen to the Evanston Children’s Choir perform Christmas carols while waiting for Santa to arrive for the traditional holiday tree lighting.

Gary Geiger.

With the temperature just above freezing, you could see your breath in the air as Children’s Choir founder Gary Geiger directed the performers.

Kids had arrived with their Christmas wish lists in their heads, or at least in one case, in their hands.

While the kids listened to the choir …

Mrs. Claus and Santa waited back stage with Downtown Evanston Executive Director Annie Coakley for their turns to go on.

Once the choir’s performance was over, it wasn’t long before Mayor Steve Hagerty arrived.

Fresh from a ride downtown with a group of other bicyclists, the mayor said the weather wasn’t near as challenging this year for the ride as it had been last year when, he said, it had been only about 10 degrees.

Asking for a few kids to help pull the switch to light the tree, the mayor ended up with no shortage of volunteers.

And with a throw of the giant lever, the tree was lit and the crowd could wander off to see Santa and Mrs. Claus at The Merion or have dinner at one of dozens of downtown restaurants.

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