Holiday lights dedication ceremony Friday eveningShhhhh! It's a secret!
With the flip of a switch Friday evening during the Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s lighting dedication ceremony in Central Park, Fairfield will once again be transformed into The Christmas City.
The annual Holiday Lighting Celebration will begin at 5:30 p.m., with members of the Fairfield High School choir, under the direction of Zach Reiter, singing holiday classics near the bandstand.
Following the choir’s performance, the 2012 lighting dedication honoree will be named.
The dedication, a well-kept secret until the ceremony, recognizes an individual or organization that exemplifies the “holiday spirit,” said Nancy Morrissey, executive director of the chamber of commerce.
The honoree will switch on the lights for this year’s season at 6 p.m.
Fairfield’s 2011 holiday lighting display was dedicated to Pauline Rodgers, director of the Lord’s Cupboard, in recognition of the work she does in the community.
In past years, the lights have been dedicated to Holiday Committee members, including Debbi Davis, who led a fundraising drive to build a storage building for the holiday decorations and the refurbishment of near-antique decorations, and Mark Stimson, who led efforts to revitalize and renovate the Santa Claus and reindeer carousel; the Fairfield Rotary Club; Fairfield Lions Club; the late Glen “Doc” Shelangoski; the 224th Engineer Battalion of the Iowa Army National Guard; and many others who exemplify the holiday spirit.
The sparkling lights are Santa’s cue to make his way, in a horse-drawn wagon driven by Eddie Spees of Spees Pony Farm escorted by a Fairfield Police Department vehicle, to the northeast corner of Central Park, where he will be visiting with children from 6-8 p.m. in his spiffed-up Kandy Kane House.
The Kandy Kane House, explained chamber administrator Lori Knox, has a new coat of exterior paint, as well as a refurbished interior.
“We cleaned it out real good and put up a new tree with new decorations, a new ribbon swag over the fireplace, new decorations in and above the window and a new braided rug for the floor,” said Knox.
Knox said the Kandy Kane House’s red and apple green motif creates a bright, fun place for children to visit with Santa.
After he drops off Santa, Spees will offer horse-drawn wagon rides around the square from 6-8 p.m. The Fairfield Lions Club sponsors the rides, and members will be helping passengers in and out of the wagon.
While people are waiting to ride the wagon or to see Santa, they’ll be entertained by a group of singers from Cambridge Investment Research caroling at 6 p.m. in Central Park.
Lions Club members also will be sponsoring their annual soup, sandwich and dessert fundraiser beginning at 5 p.m. at the Fairfield Senior Citizen Center.
Lion Don Wallace said the menu for the free will donation supper will feature homemade chili and chicken noodle soup, ham sandwiches, pie and beverages.
The organization also will be having an auction to raise funds for the Fairfield Police Department’s new canine and training. The live auction of locally donated items, ranging in value from $10 to $165, is set to begin at 6:30 p.m., said Wallace.
New this year, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will present a live nativity scene from 6-8 p.m. in the gazebo by its church on South Main Street. A narration of the Christmas story, with music, animals and performers, will be told.
The church also will have cookies, hot chocolate and coffee available indoors for a time of fellowship, accompanied by live piano playing of Christmas carols. Admission is free.
Many Fairfield shops will be open late Friday, as they begin their holiday shopping hours, added Morrissey. CellTech, the local Verizon Wireless store, will be providing free hot cocoa or apple cider from 5:30-7 p.m. outside its store to warm up people watching the festivities on the square.
Morrissey also added the chamber is conducting its annual Trees of Lights campaign to raise funds for the holiday lights and decorations.
“Turning Fairfield into Christmas City each year is a large undertaking,” she said. “When you buy a bulb or make a donation toward decorations or their refurbishment, you are ensuring that the holiday tradition of the Fairfield Central Park lighting displays will continue.”
Morrissey explained a person or business can make a donation by buying a red bulb for $10; a green bulb for $25; a gold bulb for $50; a string of lights for $100; and a donation of $250 or more will be allocated to holiday display refurbishment.
Donations also can be made as memorials, she added.
For information, call the chamber at 472-2111 or visit its website at fairfieldiowa.com.