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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Holiday season starts in Kingsville

by Kyle Reid

The holiday season officially kicked off in Kingsville last Saturday evening as the 26th annual Fantasy of Lights was hosted at Lakeside Park.

Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus were on hand to switch on the fantastic display of lights and lighted figures at Lakeside Park, signalling the start of this year’s Christmas events in Kingsville. It was surely Santa’s busiest time of the year before Christmas as he and Mrs. Clause dashed around town Saturday evening. The two were first found at the Lakeside Park Pavilion for the annual Dinner with Santa before taking their seats as the featured guests in this year’s Kingsville Santa Clause Parade.

The Town pulled out all of the stops for the parade which made its way down Main Street, eventually making its way and stopping at Lakeside Park. Thousands of Kingsville residents lined the streets to watch the parade of floats, bands, horses, performers and, of course, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus-a treat for Yuletide fans, young and old.

After finally making their way to Lakeside Park, Santa and Mrs. Claus received some help from local Christmas carolers to flick the switch, which lit up the over 200 displays set up around the park.

A spectacular fireworks display put an exclamation point on the evening’s activities and crowds were wowed by the display.

Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos, who Chairs the Town’s Fantasy of Lights Festival Committee, said he is looking forward to record numbers attending Christmas events around Kingsville again this year. Now in its 26th year, the Fantasy of Lights has become one of the longest-running festivals in Essex County.

Since the inception of the event, local high school students have constructed the displays in their welding class, and the town staff and volunteers add the lights.

Last year, Santos said, a trackless mini-train that carried people through Lakeside Park on a tour of the light display was used quite heavily.   

Santos thanked all volunteers who help each year to make the event successful. 

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