Silver & Snowflakes: Tree lighting marks the start to Christmas season |

Silver & Snowflakes: Tree lighting marks the start to Christmas season

Shannon Litz / Nevada AppealMark Twain Elementary School fifth-grader Josephine Payan, 11, flips the switch to turn on the Christmas lights at the Capitol on Friday evening during the annual Silver and Snowflakes Festival of Lights.

For more than 20 years, Greg and Jean Remer have attended the city’s annual tree lighting celebration, Silver and Snowflakes Festival of Lights, in downtown Carson City with their five children. “We just love it,” Jean Remer said. “And even though they’re grown, every single one of them wants to get a glimpse of Santa.”Mayor Bob Crowell welcomed the crowd Friday to the annual festivities on an unseasonably warm evening. “What a great community we have here,” he said. “This is how we do it.”His remarks came just after Mark Twain fifth-grader Josephine Payan lit up the state’s two trees, filling in for Gov. Brian Sandoval who could not make the ceremony. “Take a look down Carson Street,” Crowell reminded revelers. “We’ve lit up the whole street. So enjoy your evening with wonderful weather. And merry Christmas.”As the lights turned on, the citywide Fifth-Grade Music Students Singing Ensemble made up of more than 300 students sang, “Oh Christmas Tree.”While that marked the highlight of the celebration, it wasn’t Alexsandra Nowlton’s favorite song of the performance. “I think my favorite song was ‘Silent Night’ in German,” said the 10-year-old Bordewich-Bray fifth-grader. “It was tough to learn, but it turned out well.”The choir performed a variety of numbers, including, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” as the Jolly Old Elf arrived and “Winter Wonderland.”“It was amazing,” said fifth-grader Alexandra Bradley, 10. “I think all the people enjoyed it.”After the lighting of the state trees, a procession made its way to the city tree at Musser and Nevada streets.The Arlington Skate Rink was open, with rentals and passes available for $4. Businesses throughout downtown remained open as well.Sam Bruketta and Morgan Fine have each attended in past years. “I like how it’s an entire community event,” Bruketta said. “It brings everybody together.”And it’s the official start of the season, Fine said. “It kind of marks the beginning of Christmas for me,” she said. “And it’s pretty.”