Christmas Aglow to spread holiday cheer

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published November 20, 2015

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Shelby Township’s hometown Christmas event, Christmas Aglow, which has been a community staple for more than three decades, will return at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3.

The free event will feature a multitude of elements designed to provide family fun, spread cheer and promote Shelby Township recreation.

New this year is the addition of a costumed Minion character from the movie “Despicable Me.”

The evening will kick off with a performance by the Eisenhower High School choir, a tribute to the Shelby Lions Football Club’s Super Bowl victory, and the Pledge of Allegiance as led by Boy Scout Pack 251. The Shelby Lions Football Club is a youth team.

“Girl Scout Troop 70154, from Beacon Tree Elementary, will have the pleasure of riding on the wagon with Santa and Mrs. Claus onto the stage and presenting the key (to Shelby Township) to Santa Claus,” event coordinator Cindy Martel said.

Santa Claus will light up the large Christmas tree next to the band shell, which Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department Director Joe Youngblood said will be laden with thousands of lights.

Afterward, children will have the opportunity to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus in the historic — and heated — Hope Chapel.

“We have a bunch of different things going on, including a craft tent where kids can make crafts and write letters to Santa; two teams of horses for horse-drawn wagon rides; tours of the historical Andrews Schoolhouse; two fires to roast marshmallows and hot cocoa; (and) hot dogs and cookies provided by the Shelby Lions Club,” Martel said.

To conclude the event, she said, the Utica High School junior varsity dance team will perform on stage around 7:45 p.m. and offer line dance lessons for children and families afterward.

“Everyone is always in a good mood,” Martel said. “It’s a fun way to start off the Christmas season and get into the Christmas spirit.”

She said the annual event draws approximately 300 people, depending on the weather.

Youngblood said the event has come a long way since its inception, when everything took place on the steps of the municipal building.

“It just has that nice hometown feel,” he said. “We’re always looking to improve the quality of our recreation for residents.”

Families are encouraged to bring canned goods for the Feed the Need program.

The Shelby Township municipal grounds are located at 52700 Van Dyke Ave., south of 24 Mile Road. For more information, call the Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department at (586) 731-0300.

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