The songs at the Frontenac lighting ceremony talked of playing in the snow. But no one told the dozen or more children who showed up to the event wearing short-sleeved shirts.

The songs at the Frontenac lighting ceremony talked of playing in the snow. But no one told the dozen or more children who showed up to the event wearing short-sleeved shirts.

While the lighting ceremony has become a long-held tradition in Frontenac on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, there was a new change this year, but not to the ceremony.

The change was in the lights themselves, which have been replaced with light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

“We have 3,000 new bulbs, and everything’s on LED,” said Jim Kennedy, Frontenac mayor. “It costs a bit more money upfront, but it lasts longer. They say it lasts about 100,000 hours constantly... it also saves quite a bit of money. It uses probably 1/10th of the power.”

The ceremony itself was highlighted by Frontenac teenagers singing Christmas carols, before a prayer was read by Blair Thompson. As Thompson finished her prayer, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus arrived just in time to count down for the powering of the lights.

After the lights came on, those in attendance were ushered indoors for cookies and hot chocolate.
Residents said the ceremony is a special treat every year.

“I come every year with my dog,” said Mona Wachter. “It doesn’t take long, but it’s nice. I come most every year. The high school kids sing and do different things. They turn on the lights and it makes the downtown look so nice.”

Kennedy said it’s his goal to add to the Christmas lights every year.

“We’ve always done something since I’ve been here, because we didn’t have stuff up then like we do now,” Kennedy said. “My ambition is to get the lights all the way on McKay to U.S. 69.”

The lights currently stretch to Dopking Street. That said, Kennedy noted that the work for 2013 will likely begin this week.

“We start preparing for next year’s as soon as this year’s is over with. It takes 10-12 months to get ready,” Kennedy said. “There’s more to it than just putting them up.”

Andrew Nash can be reached at andrew.nash@morningsun.net or by calling 231-2600 ext. 140.