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updated: 11/14/2012 11:04 AM

Tree Lighting Ceremony Marks Official Holiday Season in Arlington Heights

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Anita Pacheco

Arlington Heights, IL - "Oh there's no place like home for the holidays," especially in the Village of Arlington Heights. Since 1991, the Village's Special Events Commission has brought the warmth of the holiday season to residents through the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in North School Park. This year on Friday, November 23rd at 4:30pm, North School Park will once again illuminate the night sky as the smiling faces of those gathered in the park eagerly await the flipping of the switch of the over 80,000 twinkling lights that will greet the beginning of the holiday season. This annual event is hosted by the Village's Special Events Commission in partnership with the Village of Arlington Heights and the Arlington Heights Park District.

Each year, the holiday preparations culminate with a spectacular centerpiece tree nestled high atop the Virgil Horath Fountain. Every year this special tree is graciously donated by a resident of the Village of Arlington Heights. The tree is then adorned with twinkle lights, bright ornaments, colorfully decorated packages and helps to capture the true spirit of the holiday season. Already the 30-foot Colorado Blue Spruce is "decking the halls" of North School Park. This year's tree was donated by the Krafton Family, six year residents of Arlington Heights. "Usually, the tree was too big to get up there and decorate in order to do it justice," said tree donor Mike Krafton. But now I'm excited to see it get it all done up the way it deserves." In year's past, family obligations have prevented the Krafton family from attending the ceremony but this year they are both excited and honored to be a part of the tree lighting and are looking forward to attending their first ceremony ever," said Krafton.

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The ceremony is a free event and kicks off with comments from Mayor Arlene J. Mulder and Park Board President Maryfran Leno being followed by the ceremonious tree lighting, hot chocolate and holiday entertainment. The joyous voices of the Metropolis Youth Choir will sing festive carols, and the Arlington Heights Park District dance companies, Fusion, Synergy and Spectrum will be performing energetic dance routines.

North School Park will be filled with holiday cheer, as well as beloved holiday displays all built in the Park District's workshop. The Arlington Heights Park District Parks Department carpenters and other tradesmen work hard each year to create displays that are in tip top shape for their holiday debut.

Families are able to snap pictures with their holiday favorites including, Frosty the snowman, a spinning bear, the train, an airplane, and so much more. The Park District hopes to see you there at North School Park on Friday, November 23rd at 4:30pm. If you can't make it to the Tree Lighting Ceremony all holiday displays will stay up until January 6th, 2013 for visitors to come and celebrate this holiday season.

For more information about the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and the Holiday Light Display in North School Park please visit www.ahpd.org.

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