Fourth-grader Noah Vogele was given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity Nov. 20 to light the tree in downtown Arkansas City with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
He participated in this year’s essay contest, a special opportunity given to one fourth-grader.
Vogele’s winning essay won him a ride on a horsedrawn carriage to the Merry Monday festivities.
He and the Clauses — portrayed John and Melanie Shelman — were dropped off in front of the tree, which was lit after Vogele read his essay to the crowd.
Vogele: What Christmas means to me
Christmas is Jesus’ birth. Christmas is where we celebrate with family and friends and presents, but most of all celebrating Jesus’ birth.
It’s fine to love presents and have the best tree, but we need to remember the first Christmas.
We need to celebrate c-e-l-e-b-r-a-t-e hohoho we are gonna celebrate and we will shout hip-hip hurray for Jesus’ birth.
I love being with friends and family, but you’re never alone.
I love Christmas because we get presents and you get to decorate a tree, but also celebrating the birth of Jesus.
I love school at Christmas because it is out for two weeks.
I love opening and giving presents.