Friday, November 25, 2011

Smile! It's the holidays in Glenn

Kathy Stanton takes a Christmas card photo of Tonya Hintze, Gail McCormick, Arnie McCormick and Jan Hintze outside the Glenn School Friday, Nov. 25, as part of the community’s Circle of Lights celebration.

Lou Rizzolo pointed over the registration table to the bin of elf hats.

“Do we have to?” asked Tonya Hintze, appealing to her holiday companions.

Yes. They had to.

The quartet from the Saugatuck area pulled on the red and green caps, sat in the vintage sleigh on the steps of the Glenn School and smiled for the camera.

Kathy Stanton snapped the image that will be emailed to the group for a memorable Christmas card.

“We wanted to get out of the house and have some fun,” said Arnie McCormick.

Frank Conklin cracks open a chestnut Friday night.
 The group joined hundreds of people at the Glenn Circle of Lights celebration Friday night in the small Ganges Township town at 114th Avenue and Blue Star Highway. The evening included free photos — elf hats optional — free cookies, a gingerbread house raffle, chestnuts roasting on an open fire — really; Frank Conklin turned the treats over red-hot coals — and lots of lights.

And, of course, Santa Claus.

Dozens of children giggled, screamed and jumped to see Kris Kringle and his wife arrive in a horse-dawn carriage to light the community tree in Glenn Square.

After flicking the switch, Santa was led by the children down a pathway lined with lighted candy canes to Glenn United Methodist Church where the jolly old elf held court for a line of anxious children.

Rachel Ridley made sure her son started the holiday tradition early, placing Grant, 4 months old, on Santa’s lap.  Grant didn’t say much, though, keeping his pacifier tight in his mouth.

The Circle of Lights holiday celebration was originated by William Erby Smith to illuminate Glenn in twinkling lights. Through the  continued support of his brother, Mark Smith, as well as many community volunteers, the tradition continues each year.

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