Shelby Township Clerk Stan Grot swears in the 2018 Shelby Township North Pole ambassadors before the 2018 Shelby Township Christmas Aglow. The ambassadors were selected by judges, which included township Trustee Lynn Wilhelm, far right, as part of the annual Shelby Township Christmas coloring contest.

Shelby Township Clerk Stan Grot swears in the 2018 Shelby Township North Pole ambassadors before the 2018 Shelby Township Christmas Aglow. The ambassadors were selected by judges, which included township Trustee Lynn Wilhelm, far right, as part of the annual Shelby Township Christmas coloring contest.

Photo provided by Shelby Township


Shelby Township’s Christmas Aglow to shine bright throughout the night

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published November 21, 2019

SHELBY TOWNSHIP —  Shelby Township will be lighting up the night with fun and festivities at its annual Christmas Aglow and tree lighting next week.

The Christmas fun will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 5 on the Shelby Township municipal grounds, located at 52700 Van Dyke Ave., and all are welcome.

Joe Youngblood, the Parks, Recreation, Maintenance, Nature Center and Senior Center director, said that the event is one of his favorites.

“Christmas Aglow is one of my favorite events of the year, since it is really the kickoff to celebrating Christmas,” he said in an email.

“Families enjoy a small-town feel with many activities and a chance to see Santa Claus as he makes his first appearance in Shelby Township for the 2019 season,” Youngblood said.  

He said the event is a little different this year.

“The Aglow will have a different location as we move from the band shell to our train display, but it will still be the best place to start the Christmas season in the township,” Youngblood said in a prepared statement.

“The Aglow is the event where we welcome Santa to the township and light the Christmas tree, so you can’t get a more official start to Christmas than that,” he said.

Jessica Thomas, the administrative program assistant for Shelby Township, said that the township grounds will be full of color and beautiful lights during the Christmas season.

“The Christmas Aglow event on the Shelby Township municipal grounds is one of our biggest events of the year. You can definitely see the spirit of the season as families come out and join us for some holiday fun. Thanks to our maintenance department, the grounds are lit beautifully with various lights on the buildings and historic train. There’s various activities for families to enjoy. It’s truly a wonderful night and great way to kick off the season,” Thomas said.

There will be many fun activities during the event for all members of the family.

“We will have cookies and hot chocolate, roasting marshmallows, crafts, and a visit from some festive friends including Rudolph, Frosty and Buddy the elf! Families will have an opportunity to take photos with Santa after he helps light the big tree!” she said.

The Aglow will also feature traditional favorites such as horse-drawn carriage rides and the “Holiday Express” train display.

Before the official lighting of the township Christmas tree, the Eisenhower High School show choir will perform carols. Then the township’s North Pole ambassadors will present Santa with the key to the township and light the tree. Photos with Santa Claus will then be available in Hope Chapel until 8:30 p.m.

Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis said there is no place like Shelby Township during the holiday event.

“Between all of the programs and the tremendous Christmas decorations our parks, recreation and maintenance staff put up, there is nothing like Shelby Township at Christmas,” Stathakis said in a press release. “We have great people behind these events. Parks and Recreation Director Joe Youngblood and his staff make sure every Christmas season is memorable.”

Children will have an opportunity to enter to become a North Pole ambassador before the event.

Shelby Township residents and Utica Community Schools students in kindergarten to second grade can complete a Shelby Township Christmas coloring contest sheet available at shelbytwp.org/coloringcontest and submit it to the Shelby Township Library by 5 p.m. Dec. 2 for a chance to become a North Pole ambassador.

Judges will select ambassadors who will be sworn into “office” by Shelby Township Clerk Stan Grot Dec. 4 at Shelby Township Hall.

Winners from the township’s Christmas coloring contest will present the key to the township to Santa Claus and light the Christmas tree.

For more information on the Christmas Aglow festivities, call Shelby Township at (586) 731-5100.