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Welcoming the season

(Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette) Fans await Santa Claus' arrival with the Hancock Fire Department.

HANCOCK — The Annual Christmas Walk took place on Mainstreet in Hancock Friday Evening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Held annually on Black Friday, the event kicks off the holiday shopping season.

The event featured a parade, the lighting of Hancock’s Christmas tree, and the opportunity for children to decorate cookies, meet Santa, and write cards to soldiers. Local choral group “Noteworthy” sang carols and the Hancock High School band performed at Memorial Park across from city hall. Volunteers gave away hot chocolate, the fire department staffed burn barrels to warm passersby, and businesses decorated windows, stayed open late, offered refreshments, and held special sales and promotions.

“I don’t know what year (the Christmas Walk) started, but we opened in 2012 and we’ve participated every year since then,” said Catherine Hiltunen, owner of the Magic Kiln Studio. Her studio, which allows visitors to paint their own pottery, gave away free ornaments to customers who purchased a gift card.

“I think people are happy to come out … I get a lot of people that pop in that have never been in before,” Hiltunen said.

 While some Hancock natives look forward to the event every year, it’s also an opportunity for people who are new to the area to acquaint themselves with everything that the downtown has to offer.

(Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette) (Left to right)Cathy Lucchesi-Gedda, Debbie Whitting, Amy Jurva and Deb Lajimodieri volunteered to pass out chocolate to passersby in front of Superior National Bank, where they all work.

“It’s great that the community has something like this,” said Melissa Hiltunen, who recently moved to Hancock and found out about the event on Facebook. “I like being able to check out the businesses.”

The event was organized by the city of Hancock and the Hancock Business and Professionals Association, who started discussing the event as early as September. Shelly Lucchesi and her family were also instrumental in planning the evening and orchestrating volunteers.

While the Christmas walk is over, many of the businesses will have their windows decorated throughout the holiday season.

(Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette) Many businesses on Quincy Street decorated their windows for Christmas. Combined with the street lighting, it makes for a festive atmosphere through downtown Hancock.

(Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette) Gabrielle Roberts, dressed as an elf, helps Gavin, 7, write a letter to Santa.

(Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette) Local choral group Noteworthy sings next to the tree before it was lit by Santa.

(Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette) Choral group "Noteworthy" and the Hancock High School band perform Christmas favorites.

(Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette) Hancock High School's band performed Christmas favorites with Noteworthy.

(Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette) With a wave of his arms, Santa lights the city's Christmas Tree.

(Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette) Santa moves through the crowd toward the tree in Memorial Park in Hancock.

(Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette) Santa waves to children on his way down Quincy Street to light the Christmas tree.

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