An acoustic guitar-accompanied Christmas concert set the scene before Roselle's tree-lighting ceremony Saturday afternoon at the Roselle Public Library.
Kids like Kotryna Cipkute, 2, of Streamwood, pranced in winter boots to the beat of "Frosty the Snowman" or "Blue Christmas," played by local performer Tom Malouf, as they awaited the lighting of the tree.
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The library's Celebrate the Season event drew about 100 people, including many kids excited to share their gift lists with Santa, dance to seasonal songs and watch the decorative lights of a 25-foot tree be illuminated for the first time this year.
The concert, which counted down to Santa's arrival to light the tree, ended with a fitting tune "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."
"What an entrance," said Michelle Spoczynski of Roselle, as she and her husband, Tom, and their children Riley, 10, and Connor, 7, watched Santa climb down from the back of a Roselle fire truck.
Santa, played by Terry Cooper of Roselle, worked the crowd before lighting the tree, shaking hands with children whose gift ideas he soon would hear and wishing them a merry Christmas. Cooper said his tradition of playing Santa for Roselle's tree-lighting event goes back 34 years.
"It's nice and warm compared to the North Pole," he told a chilly crowd.
Once Santa counted from three to one and Rose Queen Katy Ruby plugged in the lights, Mayor Gayle Smolinski advised the crowd to view the tree at another time for the best effect.
"You can't see too much on a sunny afternoon," Smolinski said. "So you'll all have to come back in the evening and see the lights."
The Spoczynski family attended Celebrate the Season for the first time Saturday because they saw a flier advertising the event while Connor's Boy Scout group, Pack 194, was decorating a small tree outside the library.
"I had no idea it was this involved," Michelle Spoczynski said. "This is really nice."