A large gathering of anxious children, parents, and grandparents gathered at Sam Miller Field in the Heights section of Jim Thorpe last week for the 18th annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the field on North Avenue.

The Christmas Tree lighting ceremony and a visit by Santa Claus were sponsored by the Jim Thorpe Community Athletic Association which maintains the Sam Miller Field.

After the tree was aglow with lights, Santa met and spoke with each child present, after which, they each received a toy of their choice.

There was also free hot chocolate and cookies for everyone who attended the event.

The Jim Thorpe Community Athletic Association expressed their gratitude to those who helped make the tree lighting and Santa's visit possible.

Among them were the Mauch Chunk 5&10, Binder Insurance, Suzanne Graff, and Kyle Sheckler for helping out with the gifts; Mauch Chunk Lake Park which provided them with a stage; and the Borough of Jim Thorpe for helping with the setup of the tree.