A small group of avid Lake Zoar water-skiers resurrected a longtime tradition Sunday with a half-dozen Santa Clauses saluting lakeside residents with hearty “Merry Christmas” greetings in a spectacular fashion.
The Santas, mainly a group of friends who have skied together for more than 25 years, gave up their annual tradition a few years ago as they reached age 50 — and the dangers of skim ice on the lake, and hypothermia from a dunking, became more apparent.
Led by Sandy Hook resident Edward Lundblad of Lakeview Terrace, Chris Goldberg of Norwalk and Tom Sullivan, who has a summer home on the lake, the expert skiers decided to do a run this year as ice receded and air temperatures rose into the 50s. They were blessed, also, because a blanket of heavy ice fog that had covered the lake all morning, eased up about the time of the 1:15 pm departure on December 22.
News of the upcoming event was passed to lakeside residents at the last moment by word of mouth and email. Dozens were at the shoreline to cheer and sound air horns and noise makers as the high-speed Ski Nautique swept by Newtown’s Cedarhurst, Riverside and Shady Rest waterfront neighborhoods. The boatload of Santas rang bells, shouted Merry Christmas greetings and waved in return.
Mr Lundblad was the first skier, Mr Sullivan followed on the second trip, and Mr Goldberg did the final run on a kneeboard. The Santas in the boat included Alfredo Carrion, Kathy and Kira Monahan, Randy Parker, Kimberly Sharpe, and Jeff and Kyle Wallin (not all at once; the participants took turns in the boat).
There was no immediate indication whether the friends would repeat their greetings next year or would retire again.