Santa (Mike Mahoney) and Rachel Terkelsen at the 5th Woodville Tree Lighting Celebration. Photo by Paul J. Seeling
Santa (Mike Mahoney) and Rachel Terkelsen at the 5th Woodville Tree Lighting Celebration. Photo by Paul J. Seeling

WOODVILLE, WI – The United fire and Rescue – Woodville Station was the cozy place to start the festivities for the 5th Annual Woodville Tree Lighting Celebration. In spite of a chilly evening there was a good turnout again this year for what is becoming a popular event in Woodville.

This year Rachel Terkelsen was chosen by popular vote as Woodville’s honored guest and prominent member of the community to “Plug-in” the switch to light up the Village for the holidays.

The event started at 5:00 p.m. and around 5:30 Village Trustee and volunteer fireman Dennis Russett opened one of the big garage doors as a fire truck pulled up outside and out came a visiting guest of honor in a bright red suit trimmed in white fur from the North Pole...it was Santa Claus!

He was greeted by all of his adoring fans and he handed out candy canes to all of them.

Santa joined in with the hungry crowd and ate one of the 150 delicious hot dogs and chips that were served up by 12 members of the Harmony Hill 4-H Club.

Miss Hammond Lauren Leen and her Royal Court of Princesses: Scout Lindquist, Stephey Arrington and Grace Meyer joined our Syttende Mai First Princess Libby Whirry for face painting and running games for the many kids on hand for the Tree Lighting Celebration.

Then it was time for the crowd to head over to the center of the Village at River Street and Stene Drive by the Boy Scouts Christmas Tree lot to “Light up the town!”

Once over there, Santa (Mike Mahoney) was once again busy handing out candy canes and posing with his friends for many happy pictures (mostly happy, a few of the very young ones weren’t quite sure about the big guy with bright red suit).

Neighbors were gathering around one of the two blazing fire rings to visit as Christmas carol music serenaded everyone over the park and street PA system.

It was about 6:00 p.m. when Trustee Russett hailed Rachel and Santa to join him on the lift platform at the front of the big Village pay-loader to rise for all to see and hear.

Russett thanked everyone for coming out and he also thanked the Village staff, Jan and Jodie and the Public Works crew for all their work in putting the Annual Tree Lighting Celebration together.

He stated that he was honored to have Rachel Terkelsen by his side to “Light up the town!” And he presented her with a nice gift bag in appreciation of all that she has done for the community for many, many years. With that he handed Rachel the special switch.

Terkelsen thanked the Village for the honor; Russett provided a countdown and Rachel “Plugged-in” the magical multi-colored Christmas lights on the big spruce by the tennis courts as well as the rest of the white holiday lights on the trees in the park for a very beautiful sight.

Russett again thanked everyone and announced that the Village would be reviving music in the Park this summer and invited local musicians to start “warming up” for this summer’s fun.

With that he invited everyone back to the firehall for more refreshments, door prizes and games as well as the opportunity to review the Woodville Historical Society Gift baskets on display that will be available by silent auction.

A good time was had by all at the 5th Annual Woodville Tree Lighting Celebration.