CORUNNA — Bright lights and Christmas music filled the streets of downtown Corunna Friday night as the city kicked off its 26th annual Festival of Trees celebration with the Parade of Lights.
The procession, featuring well-adorned trucks, tractors and a variety of floats, traveled down Shiawassee Street shortly after 6:30 p.m. and, despite the temperature hovering around 30 degrees, area residents lined the streets.
At the conclusion of the parade, the action shifted to McCurdy Park, where Christmas lights throughout the Corunna Historical Village illuminated the night sky, while a variety of decorative Christmas trees — and Santa Claus himself — occupied the community center.
“I’ve been working on this over 20 years and it gets better every year,” Festival of Trees Chairman Carol Spaniola said Friday. “There’s a lot of good people that help, and I’m a retired teacher, so I love seeing the kids. Some of their teachers were my students.”
Approximately 38 Christmas trees — the majority of them decorated by students from Perry Public Schools, Owosso Public Schools and Corunna Public Schools — filled the community center, with themes including pizza, household pets and money.
Each tree was sponsored by a local business for $100, according to Spaniola, with $50 going to a classroom to purchase decorative supplies and $50 going to the Festival of Trees fund, which contributes to improvements to the community center.
Along with the wide array of Christmas trees, visitors also had the opportunity to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus downstairs, as children waited in line to inform Santa of what they wanted for Christmas.
The Corunna Festival of Trees continues from 6 to 9 p.m. today, with buildings in the Corunna Historical Village open to any and all visitors during that time. The community center will also be open from 6 to 9 p.m.
The festival will continue Dec. 13-15, with a number of events:
n From 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, a pancake breakfast with Santa Claus at the community center
n At 6 p.m. Saturday, a performance by the Owosso High School Madrigals at the community center
n From 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, a performance by Andrew Mandley inside the Corunna Historical Village church
n At 6:30 p.m. Dec. 15, a performance by Ashleigh’s Dance Shack inside the community center
n A fireworks display in McCurdy Park commemorating the city’s sesquicentennial will bring the Festival of Trees to a close at 9 p.m. Dec. 15.