Cecilia carries on its annual caboose lighting tradition Saturday night and Santa will be making a special appearance.
“It means everything to the community,” parade organizer Glenn Harrington said, adding the event has taken place since around 1995. “It’s a way for the whole community to come together to celebrate Christmas and kick off the holidays.”
Christmas at the Caboose activities begin with a parade at 5:30 p.m. The parade begins at Wilson Manufacturing and rolls down Main Street to The Cecilian Bank.
Santa will arrive in the parade riding a fire truck.
Many people are home for Thanksgiving and come to the parade to celebrate the holidays in their hometown, Harrington said.
The entire event has a small-town atmosphere.
“It’s small town USA,” Harrington said. “Everyone knows everyone and it’s a cool experience.”
At 6 p.m. the lighting festivities begin.
Any child ages 8 and younger can sign up that night to win a silver dollar from The Cecilian Bank and a chance to light the Christmas tree.
After that, the honorary mayor lights the caboose sitting behind the bank. Each year during Cecilia Days there is a competition to see who will be mayor for the year. This year’s winner was WAKY radio personality and Cecilia resident Bobby Jack Murphy. His lone responsibility for the year is to light the caboose.
After singing some Christmas carols, the event moves to the Ruritan building at 6:30 p.m. for cookies and hot chocolate. Santa will be there for anyone who wants to get their photo with him, and there will be gift bags of candy for the children.
“It gets the community together to kick off Christmas,” Ruritan member David Yates said. “A lot of times we get to meet some people we haven’t seen in a while.”
For information, call 270-723-9508.