12/17/08 — Cliffs to hold tree-lighting ceremony

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Cliffs to hold tree-lighting ceremony

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on December 17, 2008 1:46 PM

The Cliffs of the Neuse State Park near Seven Springs will hold a tree lighting ceremony Thursday with hot chocolate and roasted peanuts for all who attend.

The public is invited to come join the fun, the event will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Park Ranger Kelly Ondek said the rangers are placing a tree on one of the platforms in the lake today, and they are decorating it and the waterfront area.

"This is our first time, and we hope it will be a good success so we can keep doing it every year," she said.

No one person can take the credit for coming up with the idea, she said. All of the rangers and some East District staff members had a brainstorming session. They wanted to do something special for Christmas. Everybody chipped in with ideas.

One of the ideas was to have a canoe flotilla.

Ms. Ondek said eight or so boats will paddle out into the lake manned by one of the rangers and volunteers from among the rangers' family and friends.

Those who attend can bring unwrapped toys for the Toys for Tots drive or non-perishable food items that the rangers will deliver to the local food pantry.

Santa Claus will be on hand for a chat with the children.

"We hope everyone enjoys themselves," Ms. Ondek said. "It's going to be fun."