Christmas Lights with Santa, a Fun Holiday Event for FamiliesJan 04, 2016 03:21PM ● By Bryan Scott
By Jessica Thompson
West Valley - Lights and candy canes and Santa, oh my! On Dec. 7, West Valley’s Family Fitness Center hosted their 12th annual Christmas lighting and Walk with Santa. The event had 300 people walk through the lights and enjoy the other holiday festivities, such as carolers and crafts.
Although it was raining, families were able to walk through a wonderful display of Christmas blow-up lights. Set up along a path were lights ranging from Santa and his elves, to a giant snow globe with the beloved characters Elsa and Olaf from the movie “Frozen.” To combat the cold, families were also given hot chocolate and cookies.
“I came today to see all the beautiful decorations,” Kyle, who visited this event with his family, said.
Inside the Family Fitness Center, there were more free activities for families to enjoy. Santa arrived at the event in a fire truck and spent the night in his holiday village visiting and taking pictures with children.
“The kids are always so excited to see Santa, and their huge big smiles just make the whole season for me. I love that this event makes the kids so happy,” event planner Valerie said.
The center made sure to include activities families could do while waiting in line for Santa. One activity was set up so children could receive a specialized balloon art. Favorites included a flower with noise beads inside the balloon, and guns with a flashing light inside.
“Sometimes West Valley gets a bad rap, but I feel the city does great things for all the families within it. I love West Valley,” Crystal, who came with her three children, said.
For the smaller children, this event also had a candy cane hunt, much like the hunts families participate in during Easter. For this hunt, candy canes were hidden in the children’s play house area. There were three special candy canes hidden, and when a child found the special candy cane they received a prize.
“I love watching all the kids’ faces light up when they find a candy cane. When they find one they just glow and that is awesome,” Candice, an employee over the candy cane hunt, said.
The Christmas lighting and Walk with Santa helps families within the West Valley community be involved in doing something different during the holiday season. This event helps community members know there are family-friendly events in their neighborhood.
“Events like the Christmas lighting is to help foster a sense of community. One of the things today that we lose in big cities is individuals feel like they become just a part of an overall metropolis, and they feel like they don’t belong to a specific city. Events like this help to restore that feeling and bring that sense of community that we want people to feel a part of,” West Valley City mayor Ron Bigelow said.