Santa stars at tree lighting, parade

Zuri Hughes was a little shy, but she patiently posed with Santa Claus at Friday’s annual Tree Lighting. Photo by Anthony Militano

With some help from the crowd, Moab Mayor Emily Niehaus counted down from 10 before lighting the community Christmas tree a few moments past 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, in Swanny Park. Santa and Valley Voices serenaded the audience with familiar holiday songs and encouraged the crowd to sing along. Later, the Moab Charter School and Grand County Middle School and High School students also sang holiday tunes.

Cookies, pastries and hot chocolate were sponsored, made and distributed by local businesses. Mayor Niehaus made a point to thank the Moab Chamber of Commerce for being the prime sponsor of the event. There were long lines for goodies and for Santa Claus, who was under the pavilion in Swanny Park this year.

The next night, Swanny Park was the starting point for the annual Electric Light Parade, which featured scores of participants and thousands of attendees. The Chamber also sponsored this event.

People, horses, bicycles and vehicles were adorned with lights. The parade started in front of Swanny Park and went up 100 West and Center Street before turning onto Main Street.

Churches and religious groups, nonprofits, local businesses and government service agencies made dozens of beautifully lighted floats in what has become Moab’s longest parade of the year.

Classic Air won the 2019 “traveling trophy” for best float in a “parade that had a lot of great floats,” said Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Laici Shumway.