The annual holiday tree lighting in Sandy Hook Center will have an extra glow this year.
Organizers will decorate and light two trees during December’s holiday festival — the evergreen on The Glen next to Sabrina Style, which is slated to come down in the future, and the new fir planted recently across the street on the corner of Riverside Road and Washington Avenue. The new tree went in during past months’ streetscape improvements.
“We’re going to decorate them both — the old tree the way we always have and the new tree in a way to be determined,” said Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity (SHOP) President Mike Burton. SHOP members, Sandy Hook merchants interested in promoting business in the center, voted during a meeting Wednesday, “basically unanimously,” in support of lighting both trees.
Sentiments during the “well attended” meeting determined “that this was the thing to do,” Mr Burton said. The tree traditionally decorated near Sabrina Style stands on Newtown Forest Association (NFA) property, and is scheduled for removal, but the NFA members had agreed earlier this year to leave it standing this holiday season for reasons including its role as a focal point following 12/14.
“We wanted to honor wishes of those who wanted old tree lit and at the same time use the [new] tree and eventual replacement,” Mr Burton said.
As the streetscape improvements reshaped the area, the new tree went in on a rise across the street, and will serve as the holiday centerpiece once The Glen tree is gone.
He anticipates a big celebration this year. “Absolutely, it’s better every year, with more lights and luminarias up and down the sidewalks,” Mr Burton said.
The holiday tree lighting and celebration is scheduled for Saturday, December 7. Festivities begin at 4 pm. Businesses in the center hold open houses and welcome guests. Trees will light shortly after dark. Food, refreshments, caroling, and more will take place. “It will be a great night,” he said.