Christmas lights illuminated the trees outside Orem City Center as hundreds of families and children attended the annual “Lights On” event on Nov. 21.
This event has been a tradition for about 16 years, and it is always held the Monday before Thanksgiving to kick off the holidays, according to Christy Schneider, executive assistant for the city manager.
“The purpose behind this event is to unite the community and celebrate the beginning of the holidays,” Schneider said. “The City Council wanted a fun event for everyone.”
The event provided donuts and hot chocolate for the attendees and continued with a few words from the mayor welcoming everyone. Following the mayor’s remarks, a group of carolers and bell ringers sang Christmas songs to bring in the holiday spirit.
Santa even made a surprise appearance in a fire truck for all the children in attendance.
Many people from the city’s consulate, including Orem’s mayor David Young and Miss Orem, were at this event as well.
“We couldn’t do it without our parks department and the community support,” Schneider said.
Orem Library associate Holly Grierson said she also assisted with the event and prepared a gallery in the lobby for people to feel welcome when they come inside.
Miss Orem 2022 Abbey Rindlisbacher said going to this event has helped her get to know and meet the community better.
“It’s a great way to get face-to-face with people who live in Orem and let them know that we are here to serve them as a city and support them in any way that we can,” Rindlisbacher said.
According to Schneider, the event didn’t have a big crowd last year due to COVID-19, but this year, a lot of people showed up.
“We love having families attend our event and seeing them feel the spirit of the holidays,” Schnieder said.