Santa Claus made a pre-Christmas appearance in Mount Carmel last night and thousands of grownups and children turned out to give him an enthusiastic welcome.

Escorted by the Mount Carmel Area Junior, and riding aboard the Atlas fire truck, Santa toured the business section, tossing out lollipops to the kiddies along the route. The candy suckers were donated by Savitski Brothers coal company. Santa ended his tour at the entrance to the News-Item office on West Fourth Street where he greeted the children personally and passed out approximately 2,000 bags of candy.

Santa’s appearance and the gifts of candy were arranged by the Mount Carmel Lions Club and the Area Chamber of Commerce.

It was estimated that thousands of Christmas shoppers, grownups and children, lined Santa’s routine the Oak Street business district. The children lined up three and four abreast for nearly two blocks to greet Santa at The News-Item office to receive candy and gifts.

Colorful street lights were switched on for the first time in the business district and Santa’s arrival marked the formal opening of the Christmas shopping season in Mount Carmel.

A community tree was erected by the police department at Avenue and Oak Street yesterday. Pens have been set up by the police for the deer exhibit at City Hall and three deer are scheduled to be brought in tomorrow.

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