BLOOMFIELD — Bloomfield will be lit from the streets to the sky for two holiday-themed community events today.

At 4 p.m., the fire department will deliver Santa to the main room of the Multi-Cultural Center for the city's popular "Santa in the Park" event.

Once seated, Santa will listen thoughtfully to each child's wish list and pose for a complimentary photograph with attendant elves and reindeer looking on. To ease any waiting-in-line woes, the elves will hand out free coloring books, crayons and candy.

Residents can keep warm up with cups of hot cocoa. Each cup will be 50 cents, with proceeds benefiting the Police Athletic League.

"There will be lots of fun things to do for families, indoors and out," said Bernadette Smith, Chamber of Commerce president. "The Girl Scouts will organize a cookie walk and various games, and at 5 p.m. our balloonmeister' will run a tethered hot air balloon ride."

Doug Lenberg of Real Green Building Systems will operate the nearly 90-foot-tall balloon. Each ride will take 4 to 5 kids above the treetops for a special view usually reserved for aircraft like Santa's sleigh.

The balloon will glow candy cane red and white and be visible for miles around, said Lenberg, who also runs balloons at the San Juan River Balloon Festival each Father's Day.

Also glowing will be a luminaria display put on by Williams Field Services. The paper-sack lanterns will blaze a trail from City Hall to the Cultural Center along First Street and on nearby Broadway.

From 7 to 9 p.


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m., the "Deck the House" contest will judge the best-lit Bloomfield homes or businesses. Applications are available at the Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce office, but must be submitted by 10 a.m. today.

Call the Chamber office at (505) 632-0880 for more information. The Bloomfield Multi-Cultural Center is located at 333 South 1st Street.