Up in Lights: Annual holiday celebration returns for eighth year


Students from the Oak Trace Elementary School choir sing at a past Westfield in Lights event. (Submitted photos)

For the eighth year, residents will flock to downtown Westfield to line up for pictures with Santa, browse local vendors, enjoy hot chocolate, listen to performances, see reindeer and, of course, observe the annual tree-lighting ceremony. Westfield in Lights will run from 3 to 7 p.m. Dec. 2 at the northeast corner of Main and Union streets.

Items of attraction:

Carriage rides sold out within an hour and a half, even though the city added a third carriage. Wagon rides, which fit up to 12 people, and a waitlist are available to those who missed out on pre-registration for the carriage rides. For more, visit westfieldwelcome.com.

A trackless train will cart families throughout the festivities. Two live reindeer will be available for a free petting, and Pictures with Frosty will occur throughout the event inside city hall, 130 Penn St. The Sugarplum Shoppes will host multiple vendors inside a closed tent.

“Westfield in Lights, its always about the downtown area, and we use city hall and use the church,” Communications Director Erin Murphy said. “The wagon rides and carriage rides really showcase the connectivity of downtown. Restaurant row and the vendors really all benefit from that evening. I think it really showcases what Westfield is and what it can be when it comes to downtown night life.”

Food and beverages, such as Titus Bakery’s, hot chocolate will be sold throughout the area.

Christ United Methodist Church happenings:

Pictures with Santa will be available throughout the event. The photos are free. Santa will be inside Christ United Methodist Church, 318 N. Union St. The church will be selling food and beverages. A Girl Scout gingerbread competition will be ongoing throughout the event. Penny voting will be utilized, and people can vote for their favorite houses with change and bills. Last year, the Girl Scouts raised approximately $300.

A map including train routes, vendor locations and more for Westfield in Lights.

A map including train routes, vendor locations and more for Westfield in Lights.

The future of Westfield in Lights:

When asked if Westfield in Lights could possibly move to Grand Junction Plaza when completed, Murphy said the city is still unsure about moving the annual event.

“More events may come on board and there will be more brainstorming to showcase Grand Junction and what is the value of moving (Westfield in Lights) there,” Murphy said.

Vendors in the Sugarplum Shoppes Tent

  • LuLaRoe Delesa Brokamp
  • Mesh XOXO
  • MysticNeedle
  • Visions of Whimsy
  • Kits and Kaboodle
  • Pam’s Tea Shoppe
  • Glam Gallery
  • Creations by Heather
  • Starry Night Knits
  • Matilda Jane Clothing Jenny Kovach
  • Meranda Makes
  • Klondike’s Barkery
  • Southern Giggles Children’s Boutique
  • TCU Westfield

 Food Vendors

  • S&V Meats
  • Uncle Gary’s Kettle Corn
  • Hot Box Pizza
  • Titus Bakery
  • Christ United Methodist Church
  • Westfield Washington Historical Society

Main Stage Schedule

  • 4:30-4:50 p.m.: Oak Trace Treble Choir
  • 5-5:20 p.m.: Holiday Stories by CarolAnn Woelfel
  • 5:30-5:50 p.m.: Reindeer Show
  • 6-6:20 p.m.: Westfield High School Band
  • 6:30-6:50 p.m.: Westfield High School Signature Sound Show Choir
  • 6:50-7 p.m.: Tree Lighting Celebration

 Letters to Santa

For three years, the Penry family has answered the written wishes of local children. The first year, Natalie Penry was a member of Girl Scout Troop No. 2612, and her mother Alyce was the leader. As a service project, the Scouts answered letters from children that were addressed to Santa. The next year, when the troop disolved, Natalie and Alyce continued the tradition as a family. Children can submit a letter with a return address in a “Letters to Santa” box within Christ United Methodist Church during Westfield in Lights.

“I came up with this idea because a long time ago when I was a little kid, somebody had written me back as Santa Claus, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever,” Natalie said.

Natalie will be by the box dressed as an elf. She also is a crew member for Westfield High School Dance Marathon and will have a collection bucket to raise money for Riley Children’s Hospital.

Last year, the mother-and-daughter duo answered more than 200 letters.

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