SPRING HILL — With a Christmas tree towering behind him and a crowd of community members watching, Spring Hill Mayor Steven Ellis stood in the courtyard of the Spring Hill Civic Center on Friday, Dec. 6, and ushered in the holiday season.

Ellis thanked the community members, not only for attending the annual holiday celebration, but also for making donations to the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund.

Ellis said the fund supports a variety of organizations and programs, including the Spring Hill Food Pantry, BackSnack program, Miami County Thrive and Spring Hill Inspiration for Teens (SHIFT).

Shortly after Ellis spoke, Spring Hill Citizen of the Year Brian Verbraken flipped the switch to illuminate the Christmas tree.

Children and their parents then lined the street as they heard the blare of a fire truck approaching with Santa and Mrs. Claus waving from the window.

Santa and Mrs. Claus set up in the gym and took time to meet with all of the children in attendance.

While they were waiting, children could make Christmas cookies, participate in a cookie walk, enjoy some hot cocoa, get their face painted or watch balloon animals being made.

The fun continued outside the Civic Center, where free hayrides were offered, and children could use flashlights to search for candy canes in Friendship Park.

Members of the Spring Hill Police Department also handed out bicycle reflectors to children.

Guitarist and singer Kevin Phillips set the mood throughout the evening by playing some holiday favorites.

Editor and Publisher Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or brian.mccauley@miconews.com.

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