KANAWHA | Lights wrapped around street poles and strung in storefronts twinkled along James Avenue in Kanawha Friday, Nov. 17, as families walked from building to building during the city’s annual holiday open house.

The event provided locals and visitors the opportunity to patronize businesses and organizations after hours with activities, giveaways and treats.

Photographs with Santa Claus were a popular destination as children and their parents filed into Kanawha City Hall.

Four-year-old Claire Hobscheidt asked Santa for a horse, a cow and a dog for Christmas, and when Santa asked her what color animals she wanted, she said “Blue,” which garnered chuckles from her parents.

Holiday classics played as Cheyenne Harle, a senior at Clarion-Goldfield-Dows High School, handed out goodie bags as Santa’s elf. Harle was named Miss Kanawha earlier this year and volunteered to help with the event.

Jake and Carissa Schruer brought their daughter, Presley, to visit Santa, and while she didn’t warm up to Santa, the family was able to pose for a photograph in front of the twinkling trees and leave with a goodie bag.

Shirley Baker, a Kanawha City Council member, asked Santa if there was an age or a weight limit got the OK to get her photo taken and ask for a puppy — a request her husband resisted.

Another popular destination during the open house was the Kanawha Fire Department’s Annual Soup Supper, which was still going strong an hour and a half after it started as people continued to trickle into fire hall for a hot bowl of soup.

The firefighters served chili, hot chili, “Firehouse Chili,” ham and bean, beef and barley, vegetable beef and chicken noodle soups with coffee, milk or other cold drink for a free-will donation.

Central Financial Group, Communications 1 Network, First Citizens Bank, In Step Flooring, Nikki’s Hair Studio, Old Bank Winery & Inn and Titanium Lunchbox 2 had various specials, treats and activities for individuals to enjoy, as well.

Reach Reporter Ashley Stewart at 641-421-0533. Follow her on Twitter at GGastewart.