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December 17, 2013

City celebrates holiday season

NORMAN — As the sun began to set, children and their families lined up at Andrew’s Park Monday to get a picture with Santa Claus during the city of Norman’s annual Holiday Celebration.

The celebration was canceled two weeks ago due to winter weather, but even without the performances, moonbounces and other activities, children were excited to see Santa. Several of the children also got pictures, waved, high-fived and hugged “Frosty the Snowman” and a “reindeer” walking around at the event.

“It’s just really nice that the city provides this. It’s a nice family outing,” Norman resident Michelle Seybolt said.

Resident Amber Neel said she and her family attend the celebration every year.

“We were scared we wouldn’t get to come this year, but we’re glad it got rescheduled,” Neel said. “They (the kids) love to see Santa and Frosty.”

Neel attended with her children Julia, Kaylee and MJ.

The Holiday Celebration has been a Norman tradition for more than 20 years. While the city usually has a choir and other performers at the event, as well as a lighting ceremony, with the bad weather this year, they wanted to at least provide families with the opportunity for a picture with Santa, said Jud Foster, director of Norman Parks and Recreation.

“It’s a special event for us,” Foster said. “It’s been a good event to start off the Christmas season and all of the events downtown.”

Sherrel Sheriff, administrative tech with Parks and Recreation, said Monday night they were pleased with the turnout so far, as a long line formed to see Santa. Hot chocolate and cookies also were available after the photo-op.

Families and children also could be heard throughout the park as some skated across the ice rink and others enjoyed the playground. With a tall, twinkling Christmas tree near the center of the park and Christmas lights beginning to glow on some of the facilities as the sun sank lower, a hint of the coming holiday could be felt, despite the warm December weather.

Jessica Bruha

366-3540

jbruha@normantranscript.com

 

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