It may not be a white Christmas in Hesperia this year, but Hesperians got a taste of one Thursday at the annual Christmas tree lighting.


The Hesperia Recreation and Park District fired up a pair of snow machines at Hesperia Civic Plaza Park, behind the city library and city hall. Cold weather threatened to generate natural snow, but the snowflakes that fell on the thousands in attendance all ended up being manmade.


In addition to music, visiting with Santa Claus who arrived with his wife aboard a San Bernardino County Fire Truck just in time for the tree-lighting and live music by the Working Poets and local high school choirs, and free refreshments, attendees could also receive free flu shots, a first for the annual event.


"We gave out 161 free vaccines," Kim Summers, assistant to the city manager, said Friday. "The cold and the limited number of volunteer nurses kept the numbers down but not bad for our first foray."


The 23rd annual Christmas tree lighting was the third held at Hesperia Civic Plaza Park. Before 2009, the city's official tree was located at the intersection of Main Street and C Avenue, on the grounds of the Little Country Christian Church. That tree was still lit up at the same time as the official lighting at the park.


Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.