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Cultural Events

Newtown Again Following Traditional Tree Lightings Schedule



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Newtown will once again hold three tree lightings this holiday season. All are scheduled for the weekend of December 6-8.

The 35th Annual Ram Pasture Tree Lighting is scheduled for Friday, December 6. The event will begin with musical performances at 6:30 pm and continue with the tree lighting at 7. There will also be additional caroling, refreshments, and visits with Santa and Mrs Claus at the historic pasture along Elm Drive.

In the hours leading up to this year’s event, Newtown Parks & Recreation employees will be placing luminarias around Ram Pasture and on nearby roadways leading to the historic property on Elm Drive.

Parks & Rec has taken over the coordination and fundraising for this longstanding event. Donations of $10 each will cover one luminaria or one bulb.

Checks should be made out to The Park Gift Fund, with Ram Pasture Tree Lighting Donation on the memo line, and mailed to Newtown Parks & Recreation, 8 Simpson Street, Newtown CT 06470.

Donors should include a note indicating how many lights and/or luminaria they are donating for, and the names of anyone they would like to honor or memorialize through their donation.

Notes and checks can also be dropped off at the Parks & Rec office weekdays between 8 am and 4:30 pm.

The 19th Annual Sandy Hook Tree Lighting will take place the following night, on Saturday, December 7.

The event is being coordinated by Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity and will begin at 4 pm. Activities will be centered around the area of Church Hill Road, Washington Avenue, Riverside Road, and Glen Road.

Children of all ages are invited to meet Santa Claus, who will be arriving at 5 pm to begin visiting with attendees. Those who offer Santa a nonperishable donation for FAITH Food Pantry will be entered into a drawing to have the honor of lighting the trees that night.

Karaoke will be ongoing in the area of The Glen, where one of two trees will be lit at 6 pm. The trees are on the corners of Church Hill at Washington and Washington at Riverside, opposite each other.

Caroling and more karaoke will follow after the two trees are lit.

Faith at Newtown, at 4 Riverside Road, has also hosted a Live Nativity presentation during the special event in recent years.

The Tenth Annual Hawleyville Tree Lighting and Toy Drive will then follow on Sunday, December 8.

Residents are invited to gather at Barnabas Plaza, 23 Barnabas Road, for the one-hour event scheduled to begin at 5:30.

Holiday festivities will take place, including performances by local dance students from Dance Etc. Hot chocolate, cookies, soda, and other light refreshments, including pizza from Papa Al’s, will be served, and — if everyone is well-behaved — a visit from Santa and Mrs Claus, delivered courtesy of Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Department, will also be part of the evening. John Voket will be the master of ceremonies.

Those planning to attend are asked to consider bringing with them an unwrapped toy or gift to be collected for The Newtown Fund, which benefits local families.

This event is organized by Stony Hill Four Corners, a business association covering the Hawleyville section of Newtown and the Stony Hill section of Bethel.

Guests of all ages gathered around the larger of two Christmas trees at Ram Pasture last year for the 34th Annual Tree Lighting. This year’s tree lighting — the first of three nights of tree lightings in Newtown — is scheduled for Friday, December 6. —Bee file photo
Grayson Engelke, safely in the arms of his mother, Barbara, wasn’t sure how to respond to Santa during the 2018 Sandy Hook Tree Lighting event. —Bee file photo
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