The holiday season is three times as bright in Newtown as residents celebrated tree lightings in Sandy Hook, Hawleyville, and at Ram Pasture during the past week.
A quick countdown from ten zeroed in on the Sandy Hook tree on The Glen, which threw its rainbow of holiday light across the center Saturday, December 7. Seconds later the crowd of hundreds gathered on the street corners where Church Hill Road intersects with Washington Avenue and Glen and Riverside Roads, and counted backward from five. A second tree, planted in the spring, promptly splashed the upturned faces with green and white light.
Residents Maribeth and Joe Hemingway looked from one tree to the other — this is the first year that a second tree has been lit in anticipation of replacing The Glen evergreen in the future. “Isn’t that beautiful,” he said.
Children shouted, “Come on, it’s snowing!” as they raced through what turned out to be bubbles and foam spraying from a snow maker in the doorway of the Sandy Hook Hair Co.
On the curb Santa greeted revelers including Madison Fesh, who whispered her Christmas wishes in his ear. For the fifth year Sandy Hook resident Cleo Conk had cotton candy for celebrants at the annual tree lighting.
Indoors, Ryan Brown got his fill of buffet snacks at the Sandy Hook Hair Co., one of many shops in the business district open to guests that evening.
Alecia Evans of SingOut! CT led a small choir through carols. Her nonprofit group performs throughout Litchfield County.
Around the corner, back at The Glen, Cailee Harvey sang along with the DJ, while Sharon Doherty, nearby, gave out special reindeer food.
She instructed friends to throw it outside their door on Christmas Eve where it sparkles on the ground, “so Santa can find you.”
The next evening as an early dusk settled on Hawleyville, a light snow fell around 5:15 pm as guests gathered for another tree lighting. Sponsored by the Stony Hill Four Corners Association, the fourth annual tree lighting in Hawleyville found guests gathered for refreshments outside Hawleyville Pizza at 23 Barnabas Road. First Selectman Pat Llodra and others soon joined in for a round of caroling before lights soon dazzled on a small evergreen.
Coordinator Madeleine Bunt explained that the association, which showcases area businesses, wanted to “give back to the community” this year. Attendees has been encouraged to bring a donation of a toy for The Newtown Fund.
With the Stony Hill Fire Department members also participating in the evening, guests enjoyed baked goods, hot chocolate, seasonal songs, and a visit from Santa and Mrs Claus.
Among those catching the holiday magic was young Jessup Burton, who had the chance to shake musical bells during caroling.
Ram Pasture, On Its Snow Date
The elusive pair from the North Pole arrived again Wednesday, December 11, for the 29th Annual Ram Pasture tree lighting — rescheduled from its original date on December 6.
On a frigid night and with snow from Monday still covering the ground, residents bundled up and waited for the bright tree lights to shine. Between 6:30 and 7:15 pm guests enjoyed refreshments while dance and song routines kept them entertained.
Despite the cold, First Selectman Pat Llodra tapped her feet in time with songs by the Newtown High School Singers, The XY Chromotones, and clapped after the Newtown High School Varsity Dancers and Lathrop School of Dance students offered quick routines.
She soon officially threw the switch lighting the trees, asking first for three wishes: “I wish you joy and peace this season.” Mrs Llodra also asked that the community fill with compassion and kindness, and move forward.
“Merry Christmas,” she said.
Announcers also thanked the Newtown Chamber of Commerce, which sponsored the event, and the many helping hands making the hundreds of luminarias possible surrounding Ram Pasture and lining area streets.
Again counting backward from ten, the many families gathered near Hawley Pond were anxious to see the twinkling lights marking the holiday season. Mr and Mrs Claus, busy in town this December, were again eager to greet the children.