Festival lights the way to the holiday seasonJan 05, 2023 11:12AM ● By Jolene Croasmun
The Jake Despain and Family singing group perform at Light the Heights. From oldest to youngest men: Jake, Jacob and Patrick Despain, and oldest to youngest women: Janie Mathis, Libby and Clara Despain. (Anna Kelsch/Cottonwood Heights)
Cottonwood Heights marked the beginning of the holiday season with the Light the Heights celebration. Nature created a winter wonderland for this annual holiday event with falling snow.
This year's Light the Heights was held on the last Monday of November. Despite the cold, many families with little ones showed up to visit with Santa and have some holiday fun.
Santa and Mrs. Claus were both in attendance and children were able to write letters to Santa.
While the event got started many could shop for holiday gifts at the vendor booths.
Hungry visitors could find a quick snack or dinner at the food vendors which were moved inside due to inclement weather. Free hot chocolate and chili were also provided for guests.
Light the Heights was hosted by Emilie de Azevedo Brown and her husband, keyboardist Derek Brown. Azevedo Brown is an actress and producer known for her work with children's video productions like “Singing Time” and “Cowboy Bebop.”
Musical guests included the Cottonwood Heights Children’s Choir, Jake Despain and Family, Lindsay Wilcox and Jin-Xiang Yu and Penny Hodson.
Once the indoor performances were finished it was time to light the tree.
All guests willing to face the elements headed outdoors for the tree lighting ceremony.
Mayor Mike Weichers spoke and thanked everyone for coming out. Weichers also thanked Cottonwood Heights Culture Manager Ann Eatchel and the Arts Council for a job well done on this event.
Cottonwood Heights Councilmembers Scott Bracken, Doug Petersen and Shawn Newell along with City Manager Tim Tingey came out to enjoy the festivities.
The crowd counted down and then, the tree was lit.
Emilie de Azevedo Brown and Santa led the kids in a holiday sing-along.
Children were all provided with bells to shake during the singing of the first song, “Jingle Bells.” They next sang “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and several other holiday classics.
The Cottonwood Heights Arts Council puts this event together every year for the community.