People from all over came to launch large multicolored lanterns into the night sky on the evening of December 7th in Dayton’s Memorial Park. It was a clear, star-filled evening and the sun had just set when Dayton’s residents started a new tradition of lighting sky lanterns and lifting them off into the cold evening sky. They looked like stars when they got far enough away. They floated west down the Avenue toward Bellevue. It was a peaceful and beautiful sight. Residents made wishes as they released them and children looked up in awe. The lanterns were sold at the event for $5.00 and all proceeds went to the Dayton Main Street Association which hosts the event.
Earlier that afternoon Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived on the fire truck driven by Chief Mike Auteri. The children stood in a long line waiting to sit on Santa’s lap and they each got a bag with gifts of candy, fruit, a book and a toy. Free hot chocolate and cookies were passed out too.
After all of the kids had their visit, the Dayton Elementary School’s Choir sang Christmas carols the town lit up their trees at the town center. On a cold night, many hearts were warm. A new and wonderful tradition has started in Dayton and many people expressed that this was the best Light Up Dayton ever.