MARQUETTE- The Christmas spirit was alive and well in Marquette Township Tuesday night as many people came out to see Santa and the Grinch.
The third annual Come Catch the Christmas Spirit Marquette Township Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony kicked off with the Marquette Senior High School Redmen Chorale singing classic Christmas carols as the Grinch lurked in the crowd before stealing the show. The event is put on by the Marquette Township Community Events Committee.
"We were formed because we wanted to focus on doing things for our community, primarily focusing on free family fun," said LeAnne Kachmarsky, chairwoman for the Marquette Township Community Events Committee. "That's our big thing and that's what we did with this event."
Autumn Heliin, 6, of Marquette sits on Santa’s lap and tells him what she wants for Christmas Tuesday at the Westwood Mall in Marquette Township. (Journal photo by Adelle Whitefoot)
According to Kachmarsky, every year the Grinch tries to steal the township's Christmas spirit, but he is always caught. This year, the township had help from the Marquette County Sheriff's Office.
As the Grinch snuck on stage to conduct the Redman Chorale through "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," sheriff's deputies pulled up to arrest him. The Grinch was pulled off stage and the deputies wrapped him in crime tape, put him in the back of a police car and whisked him away with sirens blaring.
Kachmarsky said every year people enjoy themselves at this event.
"You know when you're walking through the crowd and you hear someone say, 'Oh that was priceless,' when they arrest the Grinch with the kids laughing, it was all worthwhile," she said. "They so enjoy it."
After the Grinch was taken away, Santa arrived in a Marquette Township fire truck. He greeted the children and lit the Christmas tree. Afterward, everyone was invited into the Westwood Mall for refreshments and to get a picture with Santa. Hayrides were also being given around the mall.
"I think over the years we've lost the sense of community and I think this is a way an event can bring people together during Christmastime with children and all generations," Kachmarsky said.
Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243.