Delilah Huston and Olivia Reyes shared a moment Thursday during the traditional lighting of the City of Manteca Christmas tree.
The two youngsters — Huston is age 6 while Reyes is 5 — placed an ornament from home on to one of the branches of the 65-foot evergreen in front of the Council Chambers.
“They were looking forward to this,” said Heather Huston, Delilah’s mother.
Much had changed since last year’s event.
“It’s not too cold, and thank goodness it’s not raining,” said Recreation Supervisor/Senior Center, Preschool Programs, Teen Activities Brandy Clark.
The Senior Center was bursting at seams following the tree lighting ceremony of a year ago, with nearly 2,000 in attendance, she recalled.
The city complex was turned into a spacious holiday winter wonderland to mark the occasion. With it came a new name — Manteca Christmas At the Center.
The Senior Center featured live and local entertainment including Mondo Mariscal — the Christmas arts & crafts workshop along with complimentary food and refreshments and snowman s’mores were also housed there.
The reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ was held in one of the Parks & Recreation classrooms.
Reindeer carnival games took place in the nearby outdoor courtyard.
The Community Development office served as “Cocoa with Community Development.”
Cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus was conducted in the Finance office.
Santa Claus occupied the Council Chambers for the free photo session.
Mayor Steve DeBrum was also back.
“I couldn’t make it here last year because of work,” he said prior to throwing down the ‘on’ switch for the tree lighting with help from a local youngster.
The strands of lights that adorn the tree was made possible by Scott Heaton and his city crew of Mike McCole, Jesse Rubio and Glenn Brady.
All told, they spent about a day and a half just prior to Thanksgiving in getting the decorations ready for the tree-lighting event.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.