SPRINGFIELD TWP.  Santa and Mrs. Claus traveled to Springfield Township on Dec. 1 to light the lakefront Christmas Tree and light display.

Kids of all ages wait excitedly each year for Santa to use his magic wave of his hand to light the gazebo Christmas Tree and the light display. After a count down from five, Santa waved his hand and the darkness of Lakefront Park was brightly lit.

The jolly, red-clad couple arrived at the tree lighting on a large, decorated flatbed truck driven by Santa’s number one elf, Jason Main, from Akron Coach. A sofa was placed on the flatbed for Santa and his bride of many years to rest in comfort while taking the long trip from the North Pole to the township.

The weather was clear and the light from a full moon bounced off the lake as a large crowd gathered to hear the seasonal songs sung by the Springfield High School Spartanaires, under the direction of Rebecca Reckart, performed from the large sleigh sitting lakeside.

Parks Director Doug Foltz called for the students that had come from Young Elementary School to join in the caroling to come forward and sing favorites like "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" and "Frosty the Snowman."

Young Elementary Principal Jennifer Ganzer said she was thrilled that so many students showed up to sing the Christmas favorites. Last year, just more than 40 students were there to sing. This year, Ganzer estimated that the number had more than doubled this year.

Foltz welcomed the crowd and thanked those contributing to the event, including the township, parks and road department employees and many others that had helped to make the annual tree lighting possible.

It has been a long standing event in the township and each year those that have stood in the cold waiting for the Christmas couple go into the fire station to meet them in person and whisper their Christmas wishes in Santa’s ear. Also, in the fire station the sounds of Christmas continued as the Spartanaires sand as families enjoyed hot cocoa, hot dogs and cookies. Many took a walk through the park filled with the light displays.

The township accepts monetary donations toward the display from businesses and community members. To donate, go to www.springfieldtownship.us, email dfoltz@springfieldtownship.us or call Foltz for more information at 330-734-4121.

Holiday light seekers will find the display on Canfield Road behind the town hall along the lake.