With daylight fading and temperatures dropping to more seasonably cold temperatures, hundreds of Lake Norman residents were on hand for the LangTree Christmas Tree Lighting Festival on Nov. 19.
The cold air helped pique the children’s imaginations as dancers from Grand Central Academy in Cornelius performed routines to holiday songs filled with the spirit of Christmas. As the younger dancers performed, children in audience joined in, twirling and jumping on the lawn mimicking the moves of the dancers on stage.
The performances were capped by an appearance of the Grand Central Academy Silhouettes, dressed in red and trimmed in white, the group locked arms and kicked high in unison as the crowd seemed transfixed.
Visitors then moved over to the Christmas tree area for other activities that were part of the third annual festival. While waiting for the lighting of the tree some chose to ride the Holiday Choo Choo Train or have their photo made with the tree while others lined up for a visit with Santa.
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“Of course there is still time to write me a letter,” chuckled Santa as he talked with one young boy. Kneeling down to accept a hug from Mooresville resident Ethan Armstrong, 5, Santa spent a special moment alone with the boy before his parents, Josh and Candace Armstrong, and brother, Dylan Armstrong, 16 months, joined him for a family picture.
Candace Armstrong said that this was their second year attending the event. “Ethan was very excited when he heard we were coming to see Santa,” she said. The first year, little Dylan didn’t mind posing with Santa, but he was not cooperating Saturday night. “For some reason he started crying when he got close to Santa,” she said.
As the family joined the growing crowd, Josh Armstrong added, “This is one family tradition that we will be continuing.”
Once both of the Holiday Choo Choo Trains returned, the countdown to lighting the 40-foot Christmas tree began.
“Ten, nine ... three, two, one, light it,” chanted the crowd. At first only the bottom lit up, then the top and star joined in to the oohhhs and ahhs of the crowd followed by “Merry Christmas.”
Despite the chilly temperatures, Heart to Heart and Dennis Benton continued the musical entertainment as the festival resumed.
A short time after the tree lighting you could hear the Choo Choo engineer yell, “All aboard,” before he jumped into the driver’s seat. Pulling off into the darkness, he could be heard singing “Jingle Bells” with his passengers as they took a ride around the Lake Norman community in Mooresville.
Marty Price is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to go?
The lit Christmas tree can be seen at the corner of Langtree Village Drive and Village View drive in the LangTree Lake Norman community of Mooresville.
Check events.charlotteobserver.com and Happening nearby calendar in the newsletter and on charlotteobserver.com for more holiday activities.