Photo: Geoff Smith Santa rides on his sleigh with Suwanee's mascot, Parker the Dog, during the Caboose Lighting event in Old Town Suwanee on Friday.
SUWANEE -- Friday night marked the fifth year in a row that Historic Old Town Suwanee has lit a caboose with glimmering Christmas lights for a crowd of thousands to enjoy.
To add to the festivities, patrons were treated to Christmas caroling, arts and crafts, and Santa Claus riding in his sleigh down Main Street for all to see. Youngsters were able to climb onto good ol' Saint Nick's lap to tell him their biggest Christmas wishes, while others gathered around to enjoy hot chocolate, s'mores and other delicious snacks.
Santa was welcomed to town with choruses from Level Creek, Riverside, Roberts and Suwanee Elementary schools.
After last year's cold weather with freezing temperatures in the 30s, this year's festivities offered more heartwarming conditions.
"We have got about 1,000 more people here this year than last year," said Suwanee police officer Elton Hassell, "which is great, because not a lot of places do this kind of thing anymore."
Hassell has been a part of the caboose lighting event for all five years.
Robert and Dionne Delli-Gatti of Suwanee have been enjoying this holiday event for the last four years. "It's always great to see Santa," Robert said.
The Delli-Gattis brought their 1-year old, Crosby, to his first lighting.
"This year is so much better than the others, because we have Crosby with us," Dionne said.
Others were new to the event.
"This is our first time here, and we love all of the kids singing Santa songs." Jennifer and Jeff Gobble, both of Buford, said.
"We found out about this event from the Suwanee website, and couldn't wait to come out." Jennifer said.