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ST. LOUIS NEWS TODAY -
Festive red and green lights bathed Saint Louis Union Station's spectacular Grand Hall, with its ornate 65-foot tall, gold-leaf ceiling, sweeping archways and romanesque columns.
Festival of Lights Ushers in Holiday Spirit at Saint Louis Union Station
The Highland High School Madrigals Singers, led by Lori Ruevhausen, provided a deligthful performance.
The Muny Kids Touring Troupe performed nostalgic dance numbers.
St. Louis Blues Hockey mascot drew laughs from the kids with his antics.
Children enjoyed the performances while seated on their parents' shoulders.
The Osuwa Taiko Drummers gave a rousing performance under the lights at the Saint Louis Union Station Hotel's porte-cochère.
A dazzling fireworks finale for the Holiday Festival of Lights ushered in the official Holiday Season in downtown St. Louis.
by Betty Moore, SLFP.com
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), November 22, 2015 - A bitterly cold night provided a seasonal welcome for the annual Ameren Festival of Lights and the ceremonial lighting of the Salvation Army Tree of Lights. For the second year in a row, the event was hosted by Saint Louis Union Station.
Families and friends stood shoulder to shoulder inside the spectacular Grand Hall, with its ornate 65-foot tall, gold-leaf ceiling, sweeping archways and romanesque columns bathed in red and green lights.
The event kicked off at 4:30 pm with the St. Louis Christmas Carols Association's Kingsbury Place Singers, dressed in period costumes. The effect transported guests back to a time when Union Station was a major rail hub.
Children seated on the floor near the stage were mesmerized with the energetic performance by the Muny Kids Touring Troupe, who performed a selection of nostalgic dance numbers. Allegro - COCA's student vocal ensemble, the Washington University Accapella Group and the Highland High School Madrigal Singers filled the hall with holiday songs.
In an interview following their delightful performance, Kristy Hindman-Cook, who has been part of the Highland High School Madrigal singers for four years, provided a brief background.
"We are the head table singers. So we learn and memorize 20 to 40 songs for the season. "We also go to the Kansas City Renaissance Festival and perform there," said Hindman-Cook. She added that the group from Illinois is led by Lori Ruevhausen.
St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay offered reflections on Christmas in St. Louis, noting that it's the time of the year that brings families and friends together. "It encourages us to reflect and be thankful," said Mayor Slay.
Salvation Army Lt. Colonel Lonneal Richardson said their goal is to raise $6.2 million this season. He said with the community's help, it was possible to reach that goal. "We want everyone to have a place to sleep and stay out of the cold," stated Richardson.
As the festivities wrapped up inside the hall, many families gathered their kids for a special ride on the Polar Express™ Train Ride at St. Louis Union Station. Laughing with anticipation and wearing holiday pajamas, some kids danced around the lobby chairs to the delight of onlookers.
Nearby, a member of the Osuwa Taiko Drummers led children and their parents down the grand stairs and outside to the hotel's porte-cochère where she joined the group for a rousing performance under the lights.
At 6:30, Mayor Slay energetically pushed the lever to signal the official lighting of the Salvation Army Tree of Lights. The crowd applauded as the massive tree, created from many smaller pine trees, lit up Aloe Plaza with bright colored lights. A dazzling fireworks finale for the Holiday Festival of Lights ushered in the official Holiday Season in downtown St. Louis.
The festivities continue this Thursday, November 26, with the 2015 Ameren Missouri Thanksgiving Day Parade stepping, off at 8:45 a.m. from 7th Street and Market Street in Downtown St. Louis.
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