Several hundred children and adults ushered in the holidays Friday evening during the Christmas in the Park event held in the upper park bandshell in Lehighton.
The event was sponsored by Lehighton Area Council of the Carbon County Chamber of Commerce.
As park visitors enjoyed cups of hot chocolate served by Senior Girl Scouts Troop 583, the Lehighton Band played a variety of Christmas musical selections. But it was Santa Claus arriving on a fire truck, courtesy of Lehighton Fire Department, that grabbed the youngsters' attention.
After flipping the switch to light the Christmas tree, Santa visited with the children, handing out candy canes, compliments of the Lehighton Dollar Store, and posing for family photographs. The tree, which was donated by Biesel Christmas Tree Hill, was decorated by the many Brownie and Girl Scout Troops attending the event.
A pair of bicycles, with helmets, were presented to two lucky children. Zane Smith, 6, won the boys bike donated by the Beltzville Lions Club, while Hannah Barry, 5, won the girls bike donated by Wal-Mart in Lehighton. A Red Ryder sleigh, provided by Lehighton Hardware, was won by Jeffrey Cope, who will be 2 years old on Christmas Day.
Children's books were also donated by the Lehighton Area Memorial Library and musical recorders were offered by Carbon County Music and More.
Others gifts, including ones to children age 12 and under, were also provided by anonymous donors.
Financial sponsors for the event include Lehighton Downtown Initiative, Franklin Township Lions Club, Jim Thorpe National Bank and R.F. Ohl Fuel Oil.