11/27/13 — Goldsboro opens holiday season

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Goldsboro opens holiday season

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on November 27, 2013 1:46 PM

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With a flip of a switch, Center Street is lit up with seasonal lights after the Downtown Lights Up event on Tuesday night.

Hoping for a bit of holiday magic and cheer, Goldsboro residents huddled under umbrellas in the rain and wind Tuesday night for the annual Downtown Lights Up.

As the crowd gathered in front of City Hall, Mayor Al King, with the help of Vice Commander of the 4th Fighter Wing Lt. Col. Evan Pettus and Janie Godwin from University Lights, flipped the switch on the downtown's lights, officially welcoming the holiday season to Goldsboro.

"I want to thank everyone for being here with us to see the lights come on," King said. "We have been lighting up our water tower for a long time and it looks great."

After the lights came on, the crowd migrated over to the City Hall Annex to make reindeer food, participate in children's activities and, of course, meet Santa.

Skyler Garris, 4, and his 2-year-old brother Bobby Weng stopped off for balloon animals before taking their turn on Santa's lap.

Bobby named his balloon poodle Chef Kitty Sunday.

His brother Skyler was happy to stick with Rudolph for his reindeer.

Skyler wants a Razor Spark Scooter for Christmas and Bobby said he just wants candy.

The Wengs are new to the area and came to Downtown Lights Up after seeing the event on Facebook.

"It's the first Christmas we have seen the lights come up like this," Melissa Weng said.

The Wengs moved to Goldsboro from Great Falls, Mont.

A.J. Topicz, 2, came to see Santa with his parents Trisha and Tony.

"He wants cars," Mrs. Topicz said. "Hot Wheels."

Cason LeChot, 2, was taking a second run at Santa after last year's visit at Downtown Lights Up ended in tears.

This year's was better for Cason, but a surprise visit from the Grinch had tears in his eyes all over again.

He watched the door alert for a reappearance of the Grinch until his mom said he wanted a fire truck for Christmas.

"Fire truck," he said, lighting up and forgetting about his green nemesis. "A real fire truck."

Despite scaring Cason, the Grinch made a friend downstairs at the reindeer food station when Kylie Hensley, 2, stepped up on her tip-toes to give the Grinch a kiss on the nose.

She soon after noticed Scruff McGruff, the police mascot and ran over to him yelling, "Doggie!"

The Goldsboro Crime Prevention Unit was out handing out sticker badges and tattoos to children on their way to see Santa.