You never know when Santa might appear. The jolly old elf was not expected at Friday's Hamilton Downtown Association Community Christmas Tree lighting, but there he was! Wishing everyone on the Facebook Live webcast, he helped Steve from KLYQ and Andrew from the Downtown Association countdown the annual lighting of the tree on Main Street.

A small gathering of people watched the countdown in person at the picnic area near the Hamilton Post Office. That was by design by the association because of COVID-19 restrictions. Instead, the Hamilton Downtown Association provided a Facebook Live broadcast of the event and that surprise visit from Santa, helping countdown and light the tall living tree for the holidays. The event also promoted late night Friday openings for many businesses in Hamilton and the Small Business Saturday shopping events.

Volunteers decorated the tree about a week ago with the help of a crane truck from Grizzly Broadband. Volunteers also spread miniature white lights on trees along Main Street, below the festive lightpost snowflakes which again this year were installed by the Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department.

By the way, the lighting countdown video, with that appearance of Santa, is on the Hamilton Downtown Association Facebook page, thanks to Claire Kemp's video. Take a look. Kemp urged valley residents to "shop local," especially this year with all the COVID-19 business restrictions. The Hamlton Downtown Association has been helping with their Hamilton Business Relief Fund, but the best way to support your neighborhood businesses is to shop locally as much as possible.

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