Clinton Township hosts Christmas events

Children pose with Santa at Christmas Aglow. Photo by: Clinton Township Parks and Recreation

The Clinton Township Parks and Recreation Department will once again host the annual Christmas Aglow event Dec. 2 to kick off the holiday season. The Christmas event will feature a visit from Santa, refreshments, trolley rides and more.
Beginning at 6 p.m., guests are invited to gather at the Clinton Township Gazebo for the festivities. Santa Claus will arrive on a Clinton Township Fire Department firetruck. Children are encouraged to personally visit with Santa and share their Christmas wish lists with him.
“This long standing tradition will once again mark the opening of the holiday season,” the Clinton Township Parks and Recreation Facebook page posted. “This could not be done without our community partners!”
Genisys Credit Union will sponsor the event, as they have sponsored other Clinton Township Parks and Recreation events, such as the Costume 5K Run and Monster Mile Fun Walk.
“I think this event will be good because everyone can participate, and it’s good for the community because everyone can be together,” Gina Miller, a Clinton Township resident who participated in the 5K, said. “Clinton Township’s events are good because there are a lot of different ones for people to do, and it’s good that the city has people participate in things.”
Guests will be able to ride in trolleys, pulled by horses. Cookies and hot chocolate will be provided to attendees, while Christmas music is played. Carved Christmas themed ice sculptures will be on display for attendees to view, some of which will allow children to carve their names into them.
The event is free to attend for both Clinton Township residents as well as non-residents, but guests are encouraged to bring canned food and non-perishable food items. Collection bins will be placed at the Gazebo, as well as at the Civic Center Gym for attendants to donate food. The food will be donated to “the Township’s needy families,” according to the Clinton Township Fall 2017 Recreation Brochure.
“I think that canned food donations are better than paying for the event because then you help out needy citizens,” Miller said.
The Gazebo is located on the Clinton Township Parks and Recreation Grounds, off Romeo Plank, south of Canal Road. Guests are advised to dress for the weather, as majority of the event will be held outside.
This is not the only Christmas event being hosted by Clinton Township. The Holiday Express train will once again run from Nov. 25 to Dec. 16. The Clinton Township Parks and Recreation Department partners with the Michigan Transit Museum to allow guests to ride on the Holiday Express, an antique train from the 1900s decorated for the holiday season.
Children are encouraged to wear pajamas and bring their own copies of The Polar Express book in order to follow along. ‘Special guests’ will board the train to visit with passengers, such as Santa, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman. Children will receive a ‘special keepsake’ during the train ride: a bell, like the one in the story book.
As the train journey begins, The Polar Express story will be played over the loudspeakers, and cookies and hot chocolate will be passed out to all aboard the train. Guests of all ages are welcome to join, although children under one year of age will not need to register, as they will sit on an adult’s lap for the duration of the ride, and will not receive refreshments.
While train cars are enclosed, guests are encouraged to dress for the weather and bring blankets, as they are not heated. The trains will not be accessible for all guests, as several steps are required to enter and exit the train car.
The train departs from Joy Park, east of Gratiot and south of Hall Road. Guests should arrive approximately 15 to 20 minutes early, as the trains depart on their scheduled times. The train will go back and forth on train tracks that are no longer in use, with frequent stops for the ‘special guests’ to board. Pre-registration is required. Three time slots are available for Nov. 15, four for Dec. 9 and three for Dec. 16. Tickets for all dates are $15 for Clinton Township residents, or $19.50 for non-residents. Interested groups are encouraged to buy their tickets early, as the events sell out early.

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