City of Battle Ground prepares for 32nd Annual Holiday Tree Lighting


The City of Battle Ground will host its 32nd annual Holiday Tree Lighting event on Friday, Dec. 3 at the Battle Ground Community Center, located at 912 E. Main St. in the city’s Old Town district.

Battle Ground Recreation and Facilities Manager Kim Cederholm said the celebration will stick to its roots and follow the structure of prior events.

“We’re going to keep with tradition,” Cederholm said. 

Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive at the Battle Ground Community Center around 5:30 p.m. by way of a Fire District 3 fire engine down Main Street, with a Battle Ground Police Department escort. Before Santa’s arrival, the Battle Ground High School choir will lead Christmas carols with the community members. 

Cederholm said that once Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive, Mayor Adrian Cortes will give a speech to welcome the community and light the tree. Afterwards, attendees can head inside of the community center to take pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus. She said there will be colored sheets where the kids can write “Dear Santa” letters. Hot chocolate and cookies will also be handed out by the Battle Ground Lions Club. 

“As they wait in line to get their picture taken, we’ll make sure they have cocoa and cookies,” Cederholm said. 

Since last year’s Holiday Tree Lighting was held in a virtual format, Cederholm said she is excited to host the event in-person again.

“We had a lighting, but we didn’t have anyone on site,” she said. “It was virtual. We had videos online and we decorated the windows around the community center and the tree. We left the tree out because it was so well-done in case somebody wanted to view it.”

Cederholm said the tree will be provided by the city’s parks and recreation department this week and will be acquired from an undisclosed location. 

“This year we have red and white lights, and we have a new big snowflake as a topper,” she said.

The City of Battle Ground Communications Manager Bonnie Gilberti is also excited to see the community come celebrate the popular event. 

“I think the community atmosphere is wonderful and that everybody comes together, waiting for Santa to arrive,” Gilberti said. “The volunteers that come and help bring everyone that sense of togetherness, and watching families take photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus is very special.”

She estimates that between 200 to 250 people will attend the event, which she said has been promoted on social media. The City of Battle Ground’s Facebook page has over 6,600 followers. “We’ve announced it a few times and have an event page on there, so we have a pretty good social media following,” Gilberti said.

The tree, she said, will stay up until after New Years, but she is not sure which day it will be dismantled. 

Gilberti said other events for the holiday season are also in the works. The city is planning a winter break day camp for kids and a snowman scavenger hunt in January. 

Face coverings will be required at the tree lighting per Washington state protocols.


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