JOHNSTOWN – Lights filled Sir William Johnson Park on Friday as people filled downtown for the 2013 Colonial Stroll.
“It is great to see the enthusiasm in downtown Johnstown,” Mayor Sarah Slingerland said while attending the festive event, which included a tree-lighting ceremony. “Lots of families and young children and just people wanting to enjoy the city and all the activities we have.”
Crowds filled the downtown park to hear the Dreamcatchers, a local musical group, which performed in front of the the Johnstown Christmas Tree.
People also came to see a live nativity performance, put on by members of the New Covenant Community Church.
Parents and children made their way to the far end of the park to wait for the arrival of Santa Claus. Escorted by the Johnstown Fire Department, Santa was swarmed by children who wanted hugs and candy.
Megan Davis and Arthur Schrum and their daughter Madison attended the Colonial Stroll for the first time Friday.
“It is Christmas, we love Christmas, and [Madison] loves Christmas lights and Santa and reindeer, so we just wanted her to experience it,” Schrum said.
“I really like how Johnstown has moved into a community, camaraderie feel,” Davis said.
Al Gray was with his children Mason and Allison, who came to the event to tell Santa what they want for Christmas.
“It is nice, the kids enjoy it,” Gray said.
“I think Johnstown does a good job,” he said.
The festivities weren’t just limited to Sir William Johnson Park.
At the Johnson Hall Historic Site, horse-drawn cart rides were offered. The hall was also open for tours.
Helen Martin, a Johnstown council member and chairwoman of the Tourism and Special Events Committee, said she was happy about the event.
“We are just very, very excited because the stroll had been very, very busy,” Martin said. “It was a community event years ago.”
Organizers said this year’s community turnout was strong.