Shelton youngsters were able to meet Santa over the weekend at tree-lighting ceremonies in Huntington, White Hills and downtown.
Emma Warner, 7, had the chance to tell Santa what she wanted for Christmas at the White Hills firehouse event on Sunday night. “I liked it,” Emma said excitedly after chatting briefly with the Big Jolly Guy.
Earlier on a chilly Sunday evening, Santa had made the rounds at the Huntington Green. He arrived at both locations by fire truck to a crowd of admirers, young and old alike.
At the Huntington event, Mayor Mark Lauretti thanked organizer Roger Spinelli for continuing a tradition that had started with the Junior League.
“Generations of people appreciate coming out and sharing the spirit of the season,” said Lauretti, who also thanked U.S. troops serving their country and urged people to “appreciate all we have.”
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Attendees listened to Christmas carols and enjoyed hot cocoa and cookies before participating in a countdown to light the tree inside the gazebo on the Green.
Santa then showed up to meet with children and hear their Christmas wishes. Parents snapped photos as their kids sat on Santa’s lap and whispered requests to him.
Christmas carols to cookies
In White Hills, children from Perry Hill School sang Christmas carols leading up to the lighting. Attendees were treated to hot cocoa, cookies and pie.
Two trees were lit separately on the firehouse property on East Village Road. Santa visited to meet with children inside the firehouse.
When Santa asked one youngster what he wanted to find under the tree on Christmas morning, he replied with a smile, “Everything in the world.”
The ceremony was organized by members of the White Hills Voluntary Fire Co. New, unwrapped toys were accepted for TEAM Inc.’s Toys 4 Kids drive, and Santa will tour the neighborhood by fire truck on Saturday to collect more toys for children in need.
Handmade ornaments on downtown tree
The downtown tree-lighting took place on Saturday evening near the Rotary pavilion at Veterans Memorial Park (the Riverwalk).
The event included caroling with Center Stage Theatre singers, hot cocoa, baked goods, and a visit from Santa. Children created their own ornaments before the lighting to hang on the tree, and items were collected for Toys 4 Kids.
Despite the wet weather that day, Lauretti said, there was “a tremendous showing” at the downtown event. It was part of Celebrate Shelton, an effort to promote holiday shopping at small businesses in the city.