Shalimar celebrates Christmas with tree lighting and Santa visit
SHALIMAR — Hundreds gathered Saturday in front of Town Hall for a Christmas celebration, which included a tree lighting, "snow" and a visit from Santa Claus.
Shalimar Mayor Mark Franks led a countdown to the tree lighting and Penelope Brady, Miss Spirit of Christmas, was chosen to hit the magical Christmas button after the crowd counted down from 10.
The Town Commission voted unanimously to hold the event despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Franks said that is what the town needed.
"2020 has reminded us how important community is and how much we need one another," he said.
The festivities included the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance led by the American Heritage Girls and an appearance by Miss Okaloosa, Riley Cleveland.
The Shalimar United Methodist Church Choir, led by Dr. Brad Bradford, also sang "Silent Night" while the crowd held lighted candles.
The event concluded with fake snow that was blown into the crowd and played with by the children in attendance.
"I want to thank everyone who had a part in helping make it a success. It was a special night and I hope to grow this community event even more in the years ahead," Franks said.