Christmas season christened in Wakarusa

WAKARUSA — It was a festive, if quite frigid, evening in the heart of downtown Wakarusa Dec. 6. As night fell, the sounds of “O Tannenbaum” wafted about the air while folks meandered through the streets, finally stopping to gather around the majestic Christmas tree that has become a beloved town tradition.
The occasion was the official “Christmas Around the Tree” ceremony, a night of music and lights, fellowship and food, with a few surprises every now and then.
The centerpiece of the event was the 20-foot pine tree, donated by Utilimaster Corporation. The tree is situated at the intersection of Elkhart and Waterford streets, in what is considered the town square. The tree was dazzling in white lights, and with a gentle dusting of snow falling, it looked even more picturesque.
Visitors were treated to a musical showcase of talented local singers, with the first appearance made by “Younger Generation,” the Wakarusa Elementary show choir comprised of fourth- and fifth-grade students. NorthWood High School’s choral department was represented as well, with appearances by “Dawning Generation” and the Vocal Jazz ensemble.
 The Wakarusa Dime Store offered free hot chocolate and homemade holiday cookies, while a horse-drawn carriage provided guests with an opportunity to travel around Wakarusa and view the holiday displays of area homes and businesses. A special appearance by Santa Claus was a thrill for the children as well.