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South Jordan Journal

Light the Night brings holiday joy to South Jordan

Jan 03, 2022 04:00PM ● By Rachel Aubrey

The little rams (2nd and 3rd grade) and the little rams (4th to 6th grade) sang to the crowd at Light the Night on Towne Center Drive (Rachel Aubrey/City Journals).

The city of South Jordan once again brought an unforgettable community experience to residents with the Light the Night event that was held on Dec. 3 at the South Jordan Towne Center.  The lights, the cookies and hot chocolate, and, of course, the line to see Santa Claus, all helped contribute to the magic of this event, one of South Jordan’s most popular of the year. The night began with the lighting of the tree at 6 p.m.

With a performance that truly epitomized the spirit of the season, the South Jordan Elementary children’s choir performed under the direction of music teacher Nancy Hopkin, who has taught music at South Jordan Elementary for the past four years. The choir group is new to the school this year. They started meeting in August, gathering once a week before the regular school day started at 7:45 am. The group looks forward to more performances in the community.

“I got the cream of the crop,” Hopkin said. 

In addition to the entertainment, the South Jordan Fire Authority  was on site with one of their rigs and holiday safety information. Firemen gave tours of the firetruck to eager and interested attendees. Christmas trees in homes make indoor fire safety critical at this time of year. Firefighter Rusty Bybee has been a firefighter for 11 years and had some holiday safety tips to share to help make the season less stressful.

“We don’t want people to have to experience fire in their homes during the holidays,” Bybee said. “If you’re using a real Christmas, make sure to keep it watered, and make sure to turn your lights off at night and unplug it even.”

In addition to wagon rides around the Towne Center and the gnome hunt, one of the most popular activities for spectators to witness at Light the Night was the gingerbread contest. Dozens of tasty looking and ornately crafted creations lined both sides of city hall as the community went single file past each and every one. 

South Jordan resident Kristi Burns participated in the contest for her fifth year, recreating her “amazingly crazy” version of the pirate ship from the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean." Burns’ entry had many poeple stopping in awe.

“It’s just fun for me,” Burns said. “I like to do things that kids like to see and that they get into.”

Burns was able to use a variety of edible items such as spaghetti, Dum Dums, the bits of cereal at the bottom of the box, graham crackers, rice paper and fondant for the binder. She started working on the entry at the end of Augustwith help from her husband, Mike Burns, who lent a hand in kneading all of the dough used for the ship.

The categories for entry into the contest included: group, senior (55+), adult (18-54), teen (13-17), youth (9-12) and child (8 & under). All were welcome to enter based on the categories and the following rules: all entries had to be completely edible with all candy being unwrapped, no lollipop sticks and no perishable food. All entries had to be original, meaning kits were not permitted. All entries had to also be freestanding and attached to a plywood base. The theme of the entry was left to the discretion of the creator.

The following entries won first place in their respective categories: 

  • Group 1st: Desirae Mills
  • Senior 1st: Ruth Harris
  • Adult 1st: Teresa Oldham
  • Teen 1st: Quinnley Starr
  • Youth 1st: Caitlin Cottam
  • Child 1st: Elise Zamora

Daybreak resident Shreeti Acharya brought her two-year-old daughter Ava to Light the Night in hopes of starting a new holiday tradition, something that the pandemic put a hold on last year. A recent move-in to the South Jordan area from Salt Lake City, Acharya admitted that she enjoys all the activities and events that are happening all year long.

“I think they are doing great with the activities,” Acharya said.