Night of Lights draws thousands

Published on Saturday, 4 December 2021 21:56
Written by Dean Wright

@DeanIWright

NEWINGTON -- Thousands joined together on Newington’s Main Street for the annual Night of Lights Saturday with music, food, drinks, a parade of firetrucks and Santa Claus to bring in the holiday season.

“We think it’s been going on for around 37 years,” said Newington Parks and Recreation Superintendent Bill DeMaio. “It’s our second time shutting down Main Street, which is new for us, and it just gets bigger and better. We needed more space for people and we (also) celebrate economic development downtown and hope to help the local businesses here serve more people.”

Creative Playtime Preschool program twins Eloise and Faelynn Rose-Anderson threw the switch to turn on the holiday lights throughout the event.

DeMaio said that many of the attractions were sponsored. A video game trailer was available for guests as well as a large mural with a holiday theme for children to color. Free smores, hot chocolate and remote car racing was also available to guests. Church of Christ Congregational had its doors open for visitors to utilize restrooms or to sit and warm up through the evening’s festivities. Hay wagon and train rides were also provided to those interested. Newington High School, John Wallace Middle School and Martin Kellogg Middle School students sang Christmas songs as part of the event.

“We had over 2,900 people say they were coming on (social media),” said DeMaio. “It’s nice and parks and recreation will continue to do things as long as our residents continue to participate.”

Newington Mayor Beth DelBuono said she was also happy to see the mass turnout along Main Street.

“I’m thrilled with the turnout. So many people came by and it’s great to see everyone’s faces,” said the mayor. “Last year, we had a tiny event indoors.... It’s great to see Santa Claus come in with the firetrucks and I’m so grateful for our (first responders) and everything they do... The energy here is amazing and it’s great to see the families and different groups get to participate. It warms my heart.”

Among the families, Mark Groll wore a Christmas sweater with a pocket filled with cotton snowballs. 

“We come out here every year,” said Groll with his children. “I don’t usually dress up. We enjoy it because it’s a town thing. It’s fun for the kids and it’s getting bigger every year.”

The Bronyah family waited in line among the dozens of families seeking to visit with Santa along Main Street. 

“It’s great. We’ve lived here now for three years and we love it. We come every year. We were sad when it didn’t happen last year. It’s great to see Santa, the firetrucks and the big (lighting) reveal,” said Erika Bronyah. “I think this is our favorite event they do the whole year.”

Maizie Bronyah said her favorite part of Christmas was snow.

“It’s been good. We love Newington,” said Nana Bronyah.



Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Saturday, 4 December 2021 21:56. Updated: Saturday, 4 December 2021 21:58.