EAST CHICAGO | Expect twice the brightness this year, as the city will have two "Magic of Christmas" tree lighting ceremonies on Dec. 6.
"We're trying to light up all of East Chicago," said Fran Nowacki, manager of recreation for the Parks Department.
In addition to the lighting of the live tree at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, this year a 25-foot artificial tree will be lit in the Harbor section of the city at 5:30 p.m. at Main Street and Broadway.
"It's going to be good to see East Chicago hopefully restored back to how it was when the Harbor used to be lit up," said Steve Segura, director of the city's multimedia division.
Nowacki agreed that lighting a tree in the Harbor neighborhood will be a welcome addition to that area.
"It's going to be very nice and it's so close to the new senior citizen home building, so they'll be able to see it from their apartment," she said.
The lighting at City Hall is part of a large event that will include Santa and Mrs. Claus on hand for family photos.
There also will be hay rides, miniature train rides, free hot chocolate and a performance by the East Chicago Central High School Choir.
East Chicago children will receive a free gift while supplies last.
An additional celebration will take place Dec. 11 when Mayor Anthony Copeland and the Parks and Recreation Department host a Senior Christmas Party from noon to 3 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 1104 Knights of Columbus Drive.
Nowacki said the limit of 400 people has almost been reached, but East Chicago residents 55 years and older can call (219) 391-8476 for information on how to register for the party.