Santa and Mrs. Claus get a little help from Eastpointe kids Leilani Gruenberg and Sydni Pierce to turn on the city’s Christmas  lights Dec. 2.

Santa and Mrs. Claus get a little help from Eastpointe kids Leilani Gruenberg and Sydni Pierce to turn on the city’s Christmas lights Dec. 2.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Eastpointe and Roseville ring in the holidays with tree lightings

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published December 9, 2019

  Families sing some of their favorite Christmas carols at the 33rd Roseville tree lighting at City Hall Dec. 5  as they await the arrival of Santa Claus.

Families sing some of their favorite Christmas carols at the 33rd Roseville tree lighting at City Hall Dec. 5 as they await the arrival of Santa Claus.

Photo by Brandy Baker

 Zoe Pearson, 1, visits Santa Claus at Eastpointe’s annual tree lighting ceremony Dec. 2

Zoe Pearson, 1, visits Santa Claus at Eastpointe’s annual tree lighting ceremony Dec. 2

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

 Mary Cole, of Roseville, and her 14-month-old baby, Aria, enjoy some Christmas carols at Roseville’s 33rd annual tree lighting ceremony.

Mary Cole, of Roseville, and her 14-month-old baby, Aria, enjoy some Christmas carols at Roseville’s 33rd annual tree lighting ceremony.

Photo by Brandy Baker

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EASTPOINTE/ROSEVILLE — Eastpointe and Roseville both kicked off the Christmas season with tree lightings and holiday festivities at their respective city halls.

Eastpointe had its tree lighting on Dec. 2. People enjoyed snacks and beverages, marshmallows for roasting, and visits with Santa. The Eastpointe High School choir was on hand to lead everyone in some Christmas carols before Santa dropped by to flip on the lights with the help of two local kids, Leilani Gruenberg and Sydni Pierce.

Mary Demsich, with J.J. Misch Inc., which does contract work on the city’s parks, was one of the event organizers, and she was pleased that the program was able to bring many people together for a fun evening and that the decorations will brighten up the city for the holiday season.

“I’ve worked on this event for the last 19 years, and it’s something the city has been doing for many, many years,” said Demsich. “It brings the community together in a positive way, the kids can do crafts, and groups like the Lions Club get involved by giving out beverages. … I’m very pleased with the turnout. It went very well this year.”

She said that such an event requires a lot of work from a lot of people to bring it to fruition.

“This required people putting up lights all month and putting up and decorating the tree in City Hall,” said Demsich. “It’s nice having the whole community come together. Everyone likes to see Santa Claus come to town.”

City officials were on hand to help lead the festivities and celebrate the Christmas season.

“It turned out amazing,” said Eastpointe Mayor Monique Owens. “We had a young lady, Dea’onne Reynolds, who I met while campaigning, come out to sing. I want to let people in Eastpointe know (that) as mayor, I want to showcase their talents.”

Owens said she was glad that so many attractions were available at the event.

“My favorite part of the tree lighting was giving the key to the city to Santa,” she said. “It was such a fun evening with so much to offer to Eastpointe residents.”

Roseville hosted its own tree lighting Dec. 5, complete with singing, roasted marshmallows and Christmas-themed fun.

“We have Christmas carols, we have Aladdin and Jasmine meeting the kids, Santa is getting the key to the city, and he encourages the kids to come inside and meet him in the winter wonderland, where we have some other activities like crafts and games,” said City Manager Scott Adkins.

Adkins said the tree lighting is one of Roseville’s best traditions.

“This marked the 33rd year of having this activity,” he said. “It’s always been a very popular activity, and we’ve expanded it quite a bit within the last two or three years. The tradition was always the lighting of the Christmas tree, the arrival of Santa and then the winter wonderland. A few years ago, we added some new activities for families. They can make some s’mores outside, they can ride the hayride, they can enjoy the luminarias and decorations outside, and this hypes people up for the lighting and the arrival of Santa Claus.”

Adkins also stressed how preparing and pulling off the event is a team effort on the part of the whole city government.

“Traditionally, it was organized between the Beautification Commission, who started it originally, and the City Manager’s Office, but now it’s expanded to bring in everybody: the Clerk’s Office, the Treasurer’s Office, the Public Works Department. By this point, everyone knows their roles and we just try to figure out ways to expand on it,” he explained. “This is hands-on from every department in the city. The library has expanded its activities outside for the event; the judges from the courthouse participate. It’s one of the best times in the city throughout the whole year, and it connects our residents together.”

Roseville Mayor Robert Taylor said it was one of the best tree lightings the city has ever seen.

“It’s a big day for Roseville because families can come together and can enjoy the fun and joy of Christmastime,” he said. “Our city employees appreciate everyone coming out to see the great work they’ve done. The Department of Public Services did a great job decorating everything and lighting up the tree. It’s a lot of fun and something I think everyone needs.”

He added that it’s so fun to be able to lead people at such an enjoyable event.

“My favorite part is introducing Santa Claus to the kids of Roseville,” Taylor said. “The kids get up on stage and sing a little afterward; it really reminds you of what that feeling around Christmastime was like when you were a kid.”

Adkins said it’s nice to have events that bring the whole community together and have a lot to offer people without any cost to attend.

“We have about 48,000 people in Roseville, but we’re really a small city at heart. We love being able to get the community together,” he said. “It’s so rare to find something free that you can go to and walk away with such great memories.”

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