11/24/04 — Lights Up starts holidays bright

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Lights Up starts holidays bright

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on November 24, 2004 2:02 PM

Not even the "Grinch" could stop the festivity Tuesday night as downtown Goldsboro was lit up from one end of Center Street to the other in sparkling Christmas lights.

Rochelle Rice, former Miss Eastern Wayne, put the crowd in the holiday mood by singing Christmas carols.

Skies may have been cloudy, but spirits were bright, as Santa Claus rode into town in trolley pulled by horses.

A trolley full of happy children accompanied Santa, along with Mayor Al King.

King climbed the steps of City Hall, poised to flip the switch that would light up downtown Goldsboro.

Emcee Wayne Alley, from radio station WGBR, introduced King.

"And now, I give you the mayor," Alley said. "But, you have to give him back."

King said that he had been a little worried about the weather, but was relieved to see that it hadn't stopped a crowd of people from coming downtown.

Before switching on the lights, King reminded everyone to "do everything safely" during the holiday season.

"If you drive, don't drink," he said.

The crowd yelled with delight when the lights came on, but that wasn't the end of the event.

Kids lined up to see Santa, as well as to have their faces painted by "Mrs. Santa."

Old and young alike enjoyed tasty doughnuts and hot chocolate, while some kids munched on candy canes from Santa.

Others enjoyed trolley rides through the downtown area, where they could enjoy the lights, and the sounds of Christmas provided by bell ringers from the First Presbyterian Church.