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An excited child shares his Christmas wish list with Santa Claus at a previous Westport Business Association tree lighting and Christmas Village event.

WESTPORT – Santa Claus is taking time out of his very busy holiday schedule to help the Westport Area Business Association kick off “the hap-hap-happiest season of all.”

Santa’s Village and the community Christmas tree lighting ceremony are all part of the community’s seasonal celebration that is scheduled to take place from 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday on Main Street.

The annual event will see a large section of Main Street transformed into a winter wonderland of crafts kiosks and “all things Christmas and beyond.” A large tent will serve as a place for vendors, raffles, and community gathering, according to organizer Sandra Billieu.

The tree lighting ceremony is scheduled for 6 p.m., and Santa is expected to arrive at 6:35 p.m. Hot cocoa and cookies will be offered to all the children who attend.

“We are so pleased to offer this opening to the Christmas season to our entire community, but especially the children,” Billieu said. “Watching Christmas joy on their faces is so contagious. Just remembering little ones telling Santa their heartfelt wishes makes me smile to myself. This is the joy we all wish to hold forever.”

Other activities include a reading of “The Christmas Story,” and songs will be sung to celebrate the season.

Winners of the annual coloring contest will be announced around 6:20 p.m. and their artwork will be proudly displayed in Santa’s House throughout the Christmas season. The artists will win a top prize of $25.

The home lighting contest is being held again this year, sponsored by Napoleon State Bank. First prize is $100.

The deadline to enter the contest of lights is Dec. 7. The participating homes will be judged Dec. 14 and 15.

Contestants are urged to send Billieu the addresses of the homes participating. They will be listed on the Business Association webpage and on Facebook.

Letters to Santa may be left in the mailbox on the side of Santa’s House until Dec. 21 and Santa will send a reply.

The Westport Covered Bridge will be decked out in lights, and everyone is invited to take a leisurely drive across the historic bridge to enjoy the lights and cheerful atmosphere.

“We are about three quarters of the way done decorating the bridge, but it’s really going to be lovely, and we’d like everyone to have a look,” Billieu said.

For questions about the tree lighting or the festivities surrounding it, call 812-871-8686.

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111, ext 217011 or email bill.rethlake@greensburgdailynews.com

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