Saturday, November 30, 2013

Lighting Up the Christmas Tree

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Saint Paul lights a Christmas tree in Rice Park. The tree is always a donation, coming from a place where it had to be removed for some reason.

My older daughter and I set out around 3:30 walking up the street, then waiting for a train to cross, and then around the Science Museum and up 5 levels in the elevator there and then out the door to the nearby Central Library where I returned four books, renewed a couple and checked out two more.

We then went across the street into Rice Park. Music attracted us.

We learned later this was the Choo - Choo Bob band, obviously to entertain visitors a bit younger than we are!

Nearby I noticed a toy soldier figure.

 On the right in the photo in front of the toy soldier is a young man dressed in a formal Hmong costume. It is New Year's for the Hmong culture and the nearby Xcel Center was holding that festival. I later learned that about 30,000 Hmong were expected to take part in the New Year's festivities.

And of  course there are some angels heralding a new season.

From here we walked over the skating rink which is opening the first time this season. My daughter loves to watch figure skating so we stood for awhile. The performers were from the Saint Paul Figure Skating Club.

After this we walked into the Landmark Center to see what might be happening there.

We found a toy train exhibit.

 We were enjoying it when a woman standing beside us asked her children to pose for a picture. We stepped aside a bit, and I'm glad we did. One of the children stumbled and fell down backward bringing down the protective ropes around the exhibit and knocking the train off the tracks. The woman never did take a picture; the family just crept away. 

A big chess board took my eye.

Our next stop was the lobby of the Ordway Center where we got a cup of hot cider.

Then we walked over again to Rice Park, thinking the tree lighting was at 5:00. Well, no 5:30. A lot of speeches and some performances promoting various shows at the Ordway.

 I noticed the candle on the side of the Lawson Building was now lighted.

And as it got dark we could see the outline of the Saint Paul Hotel.

It has become a tradition in Saint Paul to outline buildings with the white lights. These stay in place until the end of the Winter Carnival in early February.

At last it came time to throw the switch and 15,000 LED lights glowed and the fire works started going off.

And here's a view of the tree.

A very nice late afternoon up in Rice Park.

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