Santa Claus' arrival in Lehighton was celebrated Friday night with hot chocolate, candy canes, music and prizes at the annual Christmas in the Park event.

The annual old fashioned gathering to welcome Santa Claus to town was sponsored by the Lehighton Area Council of the Carbon County Chamber of Commerce.

Girl Scouts from Lehighton decorated the tree in front of the amphitheater with environmentally safe and edible ornaments and the Lehighton Band played Christmas carols as the people gathered for hot chocolate served by Lehighton Girl Scout Ambassadors 3583, led by Geri Haas as the crowd excitedly waited for Santa to appear.

When Santa and Mrs. Claus stepped from fire truck, the band played, "Here Comes Santa Claus," and the children gathered around him to receive a candy cane after Santa flipped the switch to light the tree effectively starting the Christmas season for the area.

After the children all met with Santa, they waited to see if they were the lucky winners of a bicycle or a sled. The winners of the bicycles were Joshua Steigerwalt and Natalie Smith and Anthony Kleppinger won the Flexible Flyer sled. Also several lucky children won books or a musical recorder.

The prizes were sponsored by Walmart, Lehighton Hardware, Lehighton Area Memorial Library and Carbon County Music and More. Sponsors of the event were Franklin Township Lions Club, Buckno Lisicky and Co. CPAs, Jim Thorpe National Bank, Att. William Bayer, R.H. Fuel Oil and Bayada Nurses.