Shafter held its annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Monday night, with a large crowd gathered at the Downtown Square. Host Chad Givens, the mayor, welcomed the attendees and thanked them for coming out to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with them.
Shafter's Distinguished Young Woman Emily McGuire had the honors of flipping the switch to light up the tall and beautiful tree, adorned with silver ornaments and over 1,000 lights.
There were also several vendors on hand, including ever-popular Haley Plaza and her homemade croissants and breads, with a long line waiting for her baked goods, as well as her homemade flavored olive oils.
There was also Aguas by Karen, who had a variety of flavored waters, including orchata, watermelon, and lime, which were very popular.
Other vendors on hand were organizations, such as Shafter Animal Control, which was giving out free dog toys, leashes and supplies. Nick Roddick and his staff were handing out goodies to pet owners throughout the city. According to Riddick, all of the supplies given away were donated to the shelter by different members of the community.
Shafter Library and Learning Center was handing out goodies, as well as information on their upcoming classes and events.
The Shafter Police Department gave out toys and goodies as children were invited to play their snowball toss game.
There was also plenty of entertainment. The Richland Junior High Choir performed, as well as several churches and a Folklorico Dance group as well.
"I just love this event," said resident Martha Gutrierrez, who was there with her daughter and two granddaughters. "We have so much fun looking at the beautiful tree and drinking some hot chocolate."