Santa arrived in downtown Evanston this evening to help light the holiday tree in Fountain Square.

Students from the Music Institute of Chicago sang Christmas carols in the rain,

as folks young an old waited for the visitor from the north pole.

Frosty the Snowman also put in a surprise appearance at the annual event that’s sponsored by Downtown Evanston.

But the big moment came when all of Santa’s helpers saw what pulling the big switch had done to transform the tree.

LED lights again this year make the tree more energy efficient than it used to be.

Then it was time for Santa’s new best friends to share a walk with him down the block to the Rotary International building.

There everyone could warm up with hot beverages and share cookies and apple or pumpkin pie.

And there was plenty of time for each child to have his or her picture taken with Santa.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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