TICONDEROGA - With visions of sugar plums - make that video games - scores of children descended on Ticonderoga for the second annual Santa Fest.
The community holiday party was planned by the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce as a prelude to the arrival of the Canadian Pacific holiday train in Ti Nov. 30.
Santa Fest featured a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, a community tree lighting ceremony, live entertainment, refreshments and activities, such as ornament making, tree decorating, making of holiday cards and balloon art.
The event was free and open to the public, said Joe Conway, chamber executive director.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will meet with each child and have photos taken, Conway said. It's always the highlight of the event, he noted.
"I thought the event was a great success," Conway said. "Santa Fest is a free, fun-filled event for all children and it's a great event to kickoff the Christmas season. I'm looking forward to next year's event already."
This year people attending Santa Fest were asked to bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to the Ticonderoga Food Pantry, Conway said.
Families were welcomed by Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus in the lobby of the Community Building, where children had an opportunity to meet Santa, tell him what they wanted for Christmas and get their picture taken.
Participants then headed upstairs where they were offered a variety of crafts. The projects included making Christmas ornaments, place mats, cookie plates, picture frames and jewelry.
The youngsters not only made decorations, they also decorated themselves with temporary Christmas tattoos that adorned cheeks, arms and hands.
The holiday spirit was further promoted by Christmas tunes from Kickin' Karaoke and juice and cookies.
As the afternoon of activities came to an end, just as the snow started to fall, people went outside to light the town Christmas tree. The lighting of the tree was accompanied by the spectators joining in chorus as they sang Silent Night.
"The Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all of the volunteers who helped - especially those who traveled a great distance to be there," Conway said. "The chamber would also like to thank McDonald's for their contribution, and of course, Santa Ray and The Mrs., without whom this event could never be the same.
The Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce wishes a happy and healthy holiday to all," he concluded. "Merry Christmas."