Despite an exceptionally frigid night, a crowd of about 500 was on hand to celebrate the annual lighting of Anoka’s holiday tree.
The event was held in the Riverfront Plaza at Anoka City Hall from 5-7 p.m. Saturday.
Most were grateful for the four bonfires lit on the plaza, where people could huddle and keep warm.
Kids still lined up for a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, where they shared their wish lists and were treated to a candy cane. Santa arrived on a vintage Anoka Fire Department truck and there were also horse-drawn trolley rides through the city streets.
The tree was donated by Tom and Brenda McKnight from their yard on Colfax Avenue in Anoka and will be lit up in front of city hall through the holiday season.
During the tree lighting, Mayor Phil Rice said Tom had always wanted to decorate the tree in his yard, but it was so big he couldn’t get it done.
Warm treats including chili, hot dogs and hot cocoa were also for sale by the Anoka Rotary Club.
Mandy Moran Froemming is at firstname.lastname@example.org