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Crowdin' in for Christmas

Thousands turn out for tree lighting
By: Laura Newell, Telegraph staff writer
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More than 5,000 people crowded in for the lighting of the Christmas tree in historic Folsom Friday night. According to Folsom Historic District Association Director Stephanie Rodgers, activities included horse-drawn carriage rides, face painting, food vendors, hot cocoa provided by Mimi’s Café, snow on Sutter Street and photos with Santa Claus at Sutter Street Theatre. Many gathered to watch performances by carolers, the Folsom High School Jazz choir, local bands and the Phoenix School choir with students from kindergarten through third grade. Dancers from Cynthia’s Dance Center in Folsom also performed to holiday music. “This is a great community event to bring families together and enjoy the holiday season,” Rodgers said. Amie Bieneman, of Fair Oaks, grew up in Folsom and said she has made her childhood family tradition into a tradition with her own children — Charlise, 1, and Brody, 3. “All of our family come and meet here every year,” Bieneman said. “It’s the perfect place to come and meet up with all of our friends.” Brody said he enjoyed seeing the snow on Sutter Street this year. “I saw Santa on the roof,” he said. “I’m going to take a picture with him.” Erin Ward, of Folsom, also brought her children. “I’ve come here since I was a little kid,” Ward said. Her daughter Megan, 4, said the snow falling on the street was a “miracle.” “I love Christmas,” said Ward’s other daughter, Shannon, 7. “The tree is very, very bright.” For the Trogdons, it was their first time at the festivities. “We’ve lived in the area, including Folsom, our entire lives and have never been here,” said Joe Trogdon of Orangevale. His wife Brooke thought it was great and their 2-year-old son Evan seemed to enjoy all the people and lights. “It’s free entertainment for the family and it looks fun,” Brooke said. Cathy Windham and her son Mark Tennis said the event is a tradition. “We’re Folsom born and raised,” Tennis said. “I’ve been coming since before he was born,” Windham said.