Dodge Park will be ho, ho, home to an annual holiday tradition in a few weeks.
The Sterling Heights Parks and Recreation Department will present the 37th annual A Sterling Christmas celebration Dec. 7 at the Recreation Center located in Dodge Park.
Recreation manager Kyle Langlois called it the city’s biggest event, outside of Sterlingfest, and the biggest event that is solely managed by the parks department. He said the one-day holiday event usually draws a crowd of more than 4,000 people.
“In the last few years, we’ve had great weather,” he said. “We’ve pushed 5,000-plus. It’s a great way to ring in the holiday season.”
According to organizers, Santa Claus will star in the event and accept visits from kids. While the jolly old elf’s reindeer will not appear, pony rides and a petting farm will entertain people who want to see animals.
Some of the beasts of burden will even take guests on a horse-drawn wagon ride — the next closest thing to a sleigh.
Organizers said families may hop aboard a carousel, witness the brightness of the tree lighting and feel the warm glow of a campfire. They can also enjoy refreshments and listen to the voices of holiday carolers.
According to Langlois, one of the artists who is scheduled to grace the event’s entertainment stage is Randy Smith, who played at the event a few years ago.
“Now, we’re bringing him back,” Langlois said. “He’s got more of a rock ‘n’ roll Christmas sound to him.”
Due to size constraints, Langlois said most of the other activities will follow past years’ traditions. For instance, the city will reuse an artificial 25-foot-tall Christmas tree, he said.
City spokesman Steve Guitar said Sterling Heights is blessed to have a number of city events that draw the community together, and A Sterling Christmas is the signature winter one.
“When I bring my family to Sterling Christmas, they immediately want to stand in line for Santa, and our Christmas holiday season begins,” Guitar said.
Although the event is free, attendees are encouraged to pay Santa by donating nonperishable boxed food or canned goods for the hungry.
The Sterling Heights Parks and Recreation Department will present the 37th annual A Sterling Christmas celebration from 5:45-8:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Recreation Center in Dodge Park, 40620 Utica Road, in Sterling Heights. Find out more by visiting www.myshpr.net or calling (586) 446-2700.
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