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Santa Clause gives a youngster a high-five greeting upon his arrival in downtown Hudson on Friday night, Nov. 29. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Randy Hanson)

Light Up Night marks start of Christmas season in Hudson

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Hudson Star Observer
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River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

A temperature in the teens didn’t keep several hundred children and parents from greeting Santa Claus when he arrived in downtown Hudson last Friday night.


In a departure from past years, Santa came to town on the Hudson Fire Department’s classic 1934 engine.

A horse-drawn sleigh was used to carry him down Second Street in former years. Organizers of the Light-Up Night worried about the horse becoming nervous and bolting when surrounded by the crowd of children and parents.

Santa’s official duty was to turn on the downtown Christmas lights with a wave of his staff.

He then waded into the crowd of wide-eyed children and parents -- asking the youngsters about their Christmas wishes and whether they had been good -- on his way to Kelley Frame & Fine Art Gallery for individual meetings.

The annual Light-Up Night on the Friday evening after Thanksgiving is the kick-off to the holiday shopping season in Hudson. It is sponsored by a Celebrate the Holidays Committee supported by some 50 local businesses.

The group’s second big event is the downtown Candlelight Stroll from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. this coming Friday night. On Saturday, from noon to 4 p.m., Santa and his reindeer will make their annual visit to Lakefront Park in downtown Hudson.

Randy Hanson
Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.
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