Friday evening was full of seasonal events around the courthouse, ending with one lucky young man flipping the switch on the Christmas lights.

Defiance resident, Caffrey Hauter, was the lucky person to have his name drawn and to win the privilege of turning on the lights, as well as a trip to Florida. He and his family were excited about the win.

“I am so happy,” said Hauter, “because I have never won anything like this before and it’s going to be cool.” He admitted that he did have some apprehension about the trip, however, saying, “I have never flown and have never been to Florida before.” Hauter’s family assured that his fear would not stop him going on the trip.

Throughout the evening, Santa and Mrs. Claus, Elsa from Frozen, and Spiderman were available to greet and have photo opportunities.

And though the evening was cold, the courthouse area was full of people enjoying some time together. All the while, children didn’t let the cold stop them playing in the bouncy houses.

Then a little after 6 p.m., Hauter was asked to flip the switch that turned on the big Christmas tree in front of the courthouse. Everyone counted down from 10 and right on cue, the Christmas lights came on.

The event, sponsored by the Defiance Development and Visitors Bureau (DDVB) and iHeart Radio, was a first for Defiance. The evening included food trucks, hot cocoa in the VFW basement, music from 98.1 The Mix, face painting and the lighting of the Christmas lights around the courthouse.

Kirstie Mack, executive director of the DDVB, said about the event, “There are so many people who have come out. This has been a great event.”

Too, Mack said, “Thank you to everyone who made this happen, to iHeart Radio, to the VFW for opening their doors to everyone and having hot cocoa, for the vendors, the bouncy houses, the commissioners for giving us this great venue, and to all of the people who came out.”

The next big event sponsored by the DDVB is next Friday, when Santa Claus makes his big entrance on the Purple Heart Bridge at 5 p.m.

After spending some time at the Defiance Public Library for storytime, and milk and cookies, Santa will install himself in his winter home for visits from 6-8 p.m.

Also Friday evening, trolley rides downtown and across the Maumee to Pontiac Park are being sponsored by the River’s Edge Bar and Grille.

While waiting for Santa or the for the trolley, you can listen to Christmas carols by the St. John Lutheran Church or the Defiance College choirs.

And don’t forget to check out the downtown storefronts for 40 hidden elves.

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