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‘Christmas in the Park’ returning to Morrow City Hall

Spectators gather around the city of Morrow’s Christmas tree during last year’s Christmas in the Park celebration at Southlake Mall. The event has been moved to City Hall this year, but the lighting of the tree will once again be a key part of the festivities. (File Photo)

Spectators gather around the city of Morrow’s Christmas tree during last year’s Christmas in the Park celebration at Southlake Mall. The event has been moved to City Hall this year, but the lighting of the tree will once again be a key part of the festivities. (File Photo)

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A Santa Claus-inspired version of the Chick-fil-A Cow poses for pictures with children at Morrow’s Christmas in the Park event last year. The city is preparing to hold this year’s event Dec. 7 at city hall. (File Photo)

MORROW — Some people say everything old is eventually new again if you wait long enough.

That is certainly true with Morrow’s seventh annual Christmas in the Park celebration, which is set to be held Dec. 7. For the first time in about five years, the event will be held at Morrow City Hall and Milton Daniel Park, 1500 Morrow Road.

“We scaled it back and made it a shorter event this year,” said Morrow Business and Tourism Association President Mike Twomey. “What we had a problem with is that when you’re working with a lot of church choirs and school choirs, you have to go into a studio and have a recording made of them singing.

“There has to be amplification. Everyone has to be microphoned and you can’t get everybody in one choir lined up on stage at the event and mic them up and then when they are done, bring the next group up and mic them up. You have to record them beforehand, and that takes two or three days to do. We just didn’t have the staff to do all of that this year,” he added.

For the last four years, Christmas in the Park has been held at or near Southlake Mall. It was held at the city’s shuttered Olde Towne Morrow development in 2009 and 2010, but after that property was shut down it moved to the mall itself.

With a smaller location, many of the celebration’s features from recent years — such as a car show and carnival — will be gone.

That means residents can expect a more subdued event this year, although officials will still offer a five-and-a-half-hour event.

The festivities will kick off with a Morrow Market Bazaar at 2 p.m., but the main celebration will begin at 5 p.m. with musical performances by Gwen Hughes, Theresa Hightower and some church and school choirs. Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and the Chick-fil-A Santa Cow will also be on hand to visit with children.

Twomey said the Little General train ride will also be back.

“We’re having it refurbished as we speak so it’ll be ready for the event,” said Twomey.

Twomey said he has also been approached about having a petting zoo for children, but he hasn’t made a decision on whether that will be included.

“That’s still up in the air,” he said.

City officials will light Morrow’s Christmas tree at 7:30 p.m.