WADSWORTH –– As the sun set over Wadsworth, lights lit up the store fronts and trees as lanterns lined the streets.
“The Candlelight Walk in Wadsworth is just a yearslong cherished tradition by our community,” said Adrianne Krauss, executive director for Main Street Wadsworth. “It is a kick off for the holiday season.”
Caesar Carrino, who was mayor from 2000-04, reminisced about a time when the city would use luminarias as opposed to plastic jugs with candles.
“They would have paper bags and they would put sand in them and put a candle in … and we did that throughout the entire city, but it takes forever to do that,” said Carrino, while sitting in a chair at the historical Johnson house which was decked in holiday decorations.
Carrino noted that the candlelight festival used to take place later in the year, after Thanksgiving, but it has since been moved up.
The Salvation Army has been involved for the last 19 or 20 years, according to Carrino.
“They had the opening of their kettles, the kettle campaign,” said Carrino. “And, I remember as mayor, I put the first check in.”
Main Street Wadsworth plans the event each year and people from the community come out to see the lights, watch the Christmas tree lighting, ride carriages and more.
“The Candlelight Walk in Wadsworth is just a yearslong cherished tradition by our community,” said Krauss “It is a kickoff for the holiday season.”
The cold weather didn’t seem to scare people away as many Wadsworth residents came out to celebrate this tradition.
“We’ve enjoyed the great times the last 10 years,” said Donna Reeder. “Last year she was pregnant, this year we have the baby with us,” said Reeder in regards to her daughter, Telah White.
Residents and city officials alike have a love for this event and the crowd that came out to support embraced the holiday spirit as Christmas Carols sounded through the streets.
“It’s just kind of a homey thing and each year it grows a little bit,” said Carrino.