Tree Lighting Kicks Off Holiday Season In The Village At Winona

The Christmas tree in The Village at Winona was lit by Jefferson Elementary School student Zorey Gagnon Saturday during the Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Photo by Jackie Gorski, Times-Union

WINONA LAKE – A crowd gathered next to Letterwood, 802 Park Ave., Winona Lake, Saturday to see the Christmas tree lighting ceremony put on by The Village at Winona.

The tree lighting was performed by Jefferson Elementary School student Zorey Gagnon.

Nick Hauk, managing director of The Village at Winona, said he believed the Christmas tree lighting ceremony has been put on since 2008, maybe even longer than that. Hauk said there was a drive-through lighting ceremony the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “but it’s great to gather around again.” If someone wanted to do a drive-through for the lighting ceremony, people could as Hauk said there were signs up routing people of where to go.

There is also a digital Christmas tree people can tune their radios to at 95.2. It will be every night through New Year’s.

The lighting ceremony is to kick off the holiday season, Hauk said. He said he hoped people got a sense of the Christmas spirit by attending the ceremony Saturday.

Before the tree was actually lit, there was a Toys for Tots collection, kid’s ornament making at Brick Alley Pavilion, train rides for all ages in the Letterwood brick paver parking lot and Christmas carolers throughout The Village at Winona from 3 to 6 p.m. From 5:30 to 6:15 p.m., there were free cookies and hot chocolate and Santa Claus made an appearance.

Hauk thanked Caley’s Designs, the Community Youth Choir for doing all the caroling during the event, Beaded Peacock, Pottery by You for the ornament making, the Village at Winona for putting on the event and the Winona Lake Fire Department.