Lincoln Commons Lights Up the Holiday Season With Visit From Santa

All photos taken by Jessica Li

‘Tis the season, as fall comes to a close and winter approaches quickly as ever. In the holiday spirit, Ward 7 Councilor Chris Simonelli worked diligently alongside the Local 25 Teamsters and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) to decorate Lincoln Commons with seasonal lights and decorations.

To commemorate their hard work, Simonelli worked with Mayor Gary Christenson to host a tree lighting event to officially illuminate the park.

The Teamsters used a truck to blast Christmas music across the park until Simonelli was ready to give his speech. He thanked the Teamsters for their help and support, as well as the electrical team that set up the lights and electrical director Craig Kelly, his fellow council members, his girlfriend, the people dressed as Mrs. and Mr. Claus, and Christenson, among others.

In his speech, he explained that it was “a time to enjoy yourself, enjoy one another, get to know your neighbor, and have a fun time with the kids.”

As Simonelli wrapped up his speech he passed the microphone over to the Mayor, who had nothing but praise. “I have never seen someone as determined as Councilor Simonelli to make tonight happen,” he opened. He joked that the Councilor had “positively broken our budget because of his commitment to this neighborhood.”

At the end of the speeches, Simonelli and Christenson chanted down from 10, egging the crowd to join their countdown. Finally, the park came to life with colors, lights, and excitement. Going from a near-pitch black to an almost blinding luminescence, children and adults alike cheered for the decorations.

Ward 7 Councilor Chris Simonelli addressing the crowd.

Attendees huddled around the Councilor and Mayor for a group photo before dispersing to enjoy the event. Hot chocolate, Christmas light necklaces, and photos with the Claus family were spread across the front of the park. The path, outlined by lights, was clear for attendees to walk along and enjoy themselves.

Like Christenson said, “This is a season to celebrate, it's also a season of caring and giving,” which they showed with their after-party at the DAV. Attendees were encouraged to cross the street to eat, talk, and “have more fun.” Simonelli also organized a time “where Santa Claus [sat] down with the kids” at the DAV.

As the event came to a close and as Maldonians went home, Simonelli wished all a merry Christmas and a good night.

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