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Auburn kicks off the holiday season with caroling, lighting

AUBURN -- The city of Auburn kicks off the Christmas season with caroling, a lighting ceremony, a movie in the park and visit from Santa this Saturday.

"Every year this event gets bigger and bigger. Families particularly love to interface with the live reindeer," said Sherrie Miller, Auburn's economic development coordinator.

Vendors with unique Christmas gifts will be on hand and live entertainment will be ongoing. Local churches and school groups, including the Yargo Community Concert Band Sax Ensemble, will provide music. Vendor's booths will be arranged in an "old-fashioned family theme," according to Miller. Like a Christmas village, it will feature Old-English nameplates for each tent.

Santa will arrive in Auburn in a sleigh drawn by live reindeer. The city of Auburn predicts this will be a treat for families with young children. After pulling up to the stage Santa will acknowledge baby Jesus, which will be part of a live Nativity scene, and light the Christmas tree. Santa's escorts this year are the Auburn Dixie Youth teams and Studio One for the Performing Arts.

At 7:30 p.m. "The Polar Express," a 2004 film about a doubting boy who boards a magical train on Christmas Eve, will be played on the big screen next to City Hall. Attendees are instructed to bring their own chairs and blankets to stay comfortable while watching the film. Food vendors serving warm apple cider and hot chocolate will be situated around the area.

"Everything Auburn plans revolves around our families," Miller said. "The whole point is that you should not have to leave the town for fun things for the family to do. We believe in the holiday season."

Guests should bundle up in their festive attire to welcome the holiday season since this event is outdoors. Yet, even if temperatures remain chilly, Miller expects a great turnout from the community.

"It doesn't matter if it's cold. People just love coming out for the movie in the park because it's fun," she said.