parade of trees

Above: A family checks out a row of trees.

Arriving at the school in a Cleveland fire truck, Santa Claus was greeted by a throng of wide-eyed kids Friday night at Cleveland’s Parade of Trees, sponsored by Community Education and Title 1 and held in the school commons.

While Santa was the main attraction, keeping true to the name of the event,  each class from K to 6th as well as the Early Child and Family Education made ornaments and decorated a Christmas tree based on the theme of a book they chose, said organizer Alissa Gibbs, the school’s Title 1 lead teacher. There were 20 trees.

Besides getting a one-on-one with Santa, kids could decorate a Christmas cookie or a Christmas card to be sent to a veteran, make an ornament or color a picture. There were drawings for books or posters or puzzles.

As for requests to Santa, dolls and dinosaurs were popular on wish lists this year. Other items kids asked for were walkie talkies, Bakugan action figures, glow lights, books and farm toys.

Gibbs said the commons was a great place to hold the event, which was only a drive up last year but held in the media center before that.

“It’s more beautiful, spread out and a lot more comfortable for families.”

The traditional Santa’s visit in Cleveland used to be held in the Fire Hall but was moved to the school a decade ago.

Payton and Ashlyn Widmer (in no particular order) sign up for prize drawings. Most of the prizes were books.

Jordyn Gehrke of Tonya Baker’s kindergarten inspects the tree her class decorated.

Jax Leagjeld (right) and his family decorate cards for veterans.

Clifford ornaments adorned the tree of Bre Meyer’s sixth-grade class.

A row of the Christmas trees that were on display. Each class read a holiday-themed book and made ornaments based on a motif from the book to decorate their tree.

Tree ornaments on the tree of Heather Smith’s third grade class.


Stick snowman ornaments made by Katie Hollerich’s kindergarten class.

Clay, a first grader, signs a card for a veteran while his mother looks on.

Madison Green colors a picture.

Preschooler Emmy McLisster takes a bite out of a cookie she decorated.


Mia Hokanson dips into a bowl of icing for cookie decorating. 

Camden Meyer eyes the cookie his sister Logan is decorating.

Families wait outside for Santa’s arrival.


With its sirens roaring, a CFD truck brought Santa to the Parade of Trees in the school commons.

Mya Stauffer of Emily Manser’s fourth-grade class talks business with Santa.

Twins Davion and Destini Logan of Karen Miller’s kindergarten class mix it up with Santa.