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Santa Claus helps deliver Christmas to Marietta park

Santa holds 8-month-old Carter Thompson. (Photo by Doug Loyer)

MARIETTA — There’s really nothing that compares with seeing a child’s reaction when seeing Santa Claus up close. This year, with Marietta Main Street’s efforts, children and families got the full effect while visiting with Santa outside at the gazebo in East Muskingum Park in Marietta.

Marietta Main Street’s Hometown Holidays Committee held its first Holiday Tree Walk which featured about 50 Christmas trees lit and decorated leading from the Front Street sidewalk to the gazebo which was set up as a Santa House.

The Christmas trees were decorated and lit with support from area families, businesses and organizations. It creates an entrance for families with their children to go see Santa. There is no charge to see Santa. There is no professional photographer at the event. Families can take their own photos for free, though donations are accepted to help support Marietta Main Street’s efforts.

To top it off, after seeing Santa, children get cookies and hot chocolate compliments of the Marietta Noon Lions Club.

“I’m thrilled,” said Hometown Holidays Committee Chairwoman Debbi Cline. “We have some trees that have items that give back to the community and it’s awesome that people are refilling items on trees.”

The Holiday Tree Walk leads to the Santa House at the gazebo in East Muskingum Park. (Photo by Doug Loyer)

Santa Claus was excited to see so many children and the beautiful setup in the park.

“We have had a lot of good kids showing up to see me here in Marietta and they’re also getting cookies and hot chocolate,” he said. “Seeing all of the lit trees is amazing. The kids are absolutely loving this event. It’s great to see the kids faces light up.”

As usual, some kids couldn’t wait to see Santa while others were a little awestruck or not so sure.

Jaythan Howard, 6, of Marietta, was certainly excited to see Santa.

“I asked Santa for a Nintendo Wii U and a walkie talkie,” said Jaythan. “That’s the best thing I ever wanted.”

“He’s been absolutely looking forward to this,” said Jaythan’s mother, Heather Howard. “This is awesome with the trees lit up. It’s seems like a true way to see Santa. We very much appreciate that.”

Nikki and Travis Coy brought their three children, Max, 6, Leo, almost 2, and Rosie, 4 months, to come see Santa and the trees.

“They really put an effort out for the kids … that’s nice,” said Travis.

“This is a really nice event,” said Nikki. “Max has been looking forward to seeing Santa and all of the trees. This is perfect.”

“I loved seeing Santa,” smiled Max. “I asked him for Mash’ems and PokeMon cards.”

Crystal Taylor, of Marietta, brought her 8-month-old son Carter Thompson to see Santa.

“We love this event,” said Taylor. “He’s always a happy baby but I think he was excited to see Santa.”

The community is invited to come see the decorated Christmas trees in the Holiday Tree Walk and see Santa there on Saturdays and Sundays before Christmas. Santa will be at the gazebo in East Muskingum Park every Saturday from 5:30-8 p.m. and Sundays from 1-4 p.m. until Christmas.

People are welcome to bring in more things to replenish items on the Community GoPack tree. The first tree on the left by Front Street is the GoPack tree. GoPacks is all about “Community helping community.”

On the GoPack tree, it explains that people each have something to give and all need help from time to time. By working together, the community can thrive. The community is invited to be part of the community giving tree. If you see something of benefit on the tree, please take it and leave the plastic box. If you would like to give something, leave it in one of the boxes so someone else can benefit from it. There’s also a mitten tree.

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