Tree-lighting turnout proves there's no dampening Christmas spirit

Published on Tuesday, 5 December 2017 22:38
Written by Skyler Frazer

Staff Writer

NEW BRITAIN - A little rain earlier in the day didn’t stop hundreds of people from celebrating the holiday season Tuesday evening during the city’s annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony.

Hayden Dupree, 4, helped Mayor Erin Stewart flip the switch on the 40-foot-tall tree in Central Park before declaring “merry Christmas” to a crowd of children eager to meet Santa Claus.

Gerry Amodio, executive director of the Downtown District, said some organizers believe this year’s event drew a bigger crowd than last year’s, even with the rain, which returned briefly after the lighting. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, he said.

“The kids have been great,” Amodio said.

School Superintendent Nancy Sarra and the school district’s chief operations officer, Paul Salina, expressed happiness that the rain had stopped before the celebration.

“Santa’s magic,” Sarra joked.

DJ Maciah “MDotLive” Clark provided holiday tunes along with the Main Street Children’s Choir, and the YWCA Dance Club performed a dance medley from its Christmas show.

Businesses in the Main Street area came to the celebration to help out. Complimentary hot chocolate and Dunkin’ Munchkins, donated by Dunkin’ Donuts on Main Street, werehanded out. TD Bank got in on the Christmas spirit, too, distributing elf hats to children and their families.

After children waited in line to meet Santa and ask him for presents, St. Nick gave each a small stuffed animal to take home.

“I asked him for the new Pokemon game,” said Elijah Torco, 8. “He got me one last year, but I want the new one.”

Some children were determined to get their wish granted this Christmas, including 7-year-old Sandra Daniels, who wants a dog.

“I asked Santa for one last year, but didn’t get one,” Sandra said. “I want to name her Ellie.”

Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at Follow Skyler Frazer on Twitter @SFrazerNBH.

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Tuesday, 5 December 2017 22:38. Updated: Tuesday, 5 December 2017 22:40.