As if in the script of a Hallmark Christmas movie Saturday evening, large snowflakes started drifting from the sky, just as Hastings Mayor Mary Fasbender officially lit the city Christmas tree on the …
As if in the script of a Hallmark Christmas movie Saturday evening, large snowflakes started drifting from the sky, just as Hastings Mayor Mary Fasbender officially lit the city Christmas tree on the Hastings City Hall lawn.
Just after singing Silent Night, Fasbender paused to take in the scene, moisture welling in her eyes.
“I get so emotional,” she said. “I just love this.”
The tree lighting capped a whole lot of Holiday Hoopla in downtown Hastings Saturday. The Downtown Business Association put the cherry on the top of the perfect day by a historic ceremony to light the tops of downtown buildings and snowflakes that line Second Street.
At 5:15 p.m., with the downtown area still humming with activity, Tatia Nelson, owner of The Busted Nut Bar and Grill and president of the Downtown Business Association, signaled for the downtown buildings to twinkle.
“We are so excited to finally have our buildings lit up on Second Street this year. This has been 18 years in the making, my lifetime down here. We’re very excited and thankful.”
Applause broke out through the downtown area with the new addition to the city “skyline.”
“It turned out better than I could imagine,” said Nelson.
Throughout the day, Santa, with his bag full of candy canes, found kids of all ages throughout the downtown area. Families enjoyed horse-drawn-sleigh rides, and kids had the opportunity to write letters to Santa. Downtown businesses offered specials aplenty, and the shoppers turned out in droves. Noted Hastings artist Dave Youngren said business at his studio was brisk of his new puzzle series from his prints of “The Seasons of Hastings.”
The Spiral Singers and students from Pinecrest, McAuliffe and Kennedy Elementary and Hastings Middle School sang holiday songs in front of a packed Rotary Pavilion of proud family and community members in Levee Park, despite the chilly temps.
Visitor Mike Johnson reported his group “came from over the river and through the woods” to downtown Hastings for lunch and ended up making an afternoon out of it.
“This is really, really something,” he said. “What a fun place.”