The people arrived by the thousands and pressed ever closer to the Town Square; late-comers spilled onto Main Street and stretched past North Street. (This view is captured at the corner of Main and Leyden looking north).They were here for the Annual Kiwanis Club Christmas Tree Lighting in historic downtown Plymouth and the 5th Annual Winter Lights 5K Race. Although the Kiwanis Club gets top billing on the flyer, many other local companies, causes, and volunteers contributed to make the event a success.
The Church of the Pilgrimage on the Town Square featured a display of many different Nativity scenes. From these beautiful white ceramic figures.......
....to a striking rendition in lighted cut glass and many other styles and designs in between.
Young and old alike were welcomed into the church for the event.
Meantime, the street vendors rolled through the crowd hoping to sell their brightly colored and/or lighted trinkets.
Many in the crowd were waiting for Santa to arrive and officially light the tree; immediately after that, the 5K race began through the streets of downtown and along the waterfront like for this family of runners.
Santa, standing in the back of the blue truck, has just finished the countdown to light the tree.
After the tree-lighting ceremony concluded, The Plymouth High School(s) Band headed back uptown toward the race finish line at the corner of Main and North streets (near the big lighted tree above). I love the long shadows in this image!
The runners mill about ready to begin the race.
With the racers underway out on the course, the race organizers work quickly to set up the finish line archway and lay down the electronic timer strips in the roadway.
And in just over 17 minutes, the men runners began arriving.
The women runners began arriving at just over 20 minutes.
A requirement of the race promoter was for each participant to have a headlight or flashlight. There were a total of roughly 1600 finishers who logged a race time. Watching many of those lights weaving and bobbing down Main Street was quite a visual treat.
It was a wonderful evening in "America's Hometown," not too cold and not much wind, always a consideration in December for a cold weather wimp like me.
Information for some of my international readers: I am reminded that this is more what real life in America looks like. Not what you may have seen in the sensationalized, breathless press. Much like throughout your own towns and villages, we are just a bunch of regular people who are honest, work hard, treat each other with respect, and enjoy whatever level of bounty and joy we can experience in our individual lives. We are folks who try to keep traditions alive to pass down to our kids. We are ever hopeful that our kids will find the fulfillment in life that we each seek. We are all over the world, not really so different.