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 The Utica Christmas tree is lit  as attendees watch last year.

The Utica Christmas tree is lit as attendees watch last year.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Utica to celebrate Christmas season with special guest

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


UTICA — Utica officials are inviting the local community to come out and celebrate the Christmas holiday with them and a new special guest who will be attending this year.

The annual Utica Christmas tree lighting and fireworks celebration will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 inside and outside the Utica Public Library, located at 7530 Auburn Road.

Utica City Councilman Gus Calandrino said the event is popular every year.

“The Christmas tree lighting celebration is one of the most popular family events in Utica. The past few years, the event has grown larger and larger. The event takes place at Memorial Park in downtown Utica, and Santa Claus will be greeting kids in the Gibbing Room in the basement of the Utica Public Library,” Calandrino said in an email.

This year’s event will include Santa and Mrs. Claus, the Utica High School marching band, singers, hot chocolate and doughnuts, Elsa and Olaf from “Frozen,” and fireworks after the tree lighting.

The fireworks show will last 10 to 15 minutes. There will not be carriage rides or reindeer this year, but there will be a special guest attending the event to meet the attendees.

“This year’s event will include an appearance by Detroit Red Wing Brendan Perlini and a fireworks display sponsored by the Utica Downtown Development Authority. Brendan Perlini will be joined by his father, Fred Perlini, who is a former member of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs,” said Calandrino.

Brendan Perlini is inviting guests to bring a frozen turkey or ham and get a picture taken with him.

“Brendan is a newly (acquired) Red Wing from Chicago and was a first-round draft pick.  He is on a mission to stop hunger during the holidays. He is asking those in attendance to bring a frozen turkey or ham, which will be donated to a local food shelter so that no family will go hungry this holiday season,” Utica Mayor Thom Dionne said in an email.

“He will be taking pictures with folks (who) bring a frozen turkey or ham, as he is trying to help stop hunger during the holidays,” he said.

Dionne said the event is being held on a Friday night to appeal to more people.

“The city is very excited to be able to continue the annual Christmas tree lighting celebration. This year we are hosting the event on Friday night with efforts to bring people into the downtown and showcase our wonderful city,” Dionne said.

Dionne looks forward to seeing everyone out enjoying the event.

“It should be a great event!” he said.

For more information on the Christmas tree lighting, call the city of Utica at (586) 739-1600 or visit