BRISTOL - The chilly night was filled with the warmth of the Christmas season Wednesday at Nuchieâ€™s as Santa Claus stopped in to sing carols with children.
The Forestville Village Association has sponsored the Forestville Carol Sing since 2002 when the association was founded. Dave Pasqualicchio, one of the owners of Nuchieâ€™s and president of the association, was dressed for the occasion in a suit covered in Christmas lights as he greeted guests and spoke about the history of the event which was originally held at the railroad station across the street. The banquet facility was decorated to match with Christmas trees and lights galore. Pasqualicchio said this is the second year it was held indoors - which he said was a much needed change.
â€śPeople are starting to come out again for things like this,â€ť he said. â€śTheyâ€™re starting to see Bristol in a good light again. Weâ€™re hoping to continue to build on it year after year.â€ť
Several dozen families attended this year.
Prior to the carol singing, Santa walked from table to table, shaking bells and greeting kids, many of whom wore Santa hats of their own. He then invited them to form a circle around him and sing holiday favorites like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bells, Joy to the World, Winter Wonderland, Here Comes Santa Claus and Silent Night. The event closed with singing America the Beautiful, which was sung in honor of those serving in the military who canâ€™t come home for Christmas and veterans, Oh Holy Night and Jingle Bell Rock.
During Here Comes Santa Claus, Santa walked around shaking hands with visitors.
Pasqualicchio shared a Christmas story about his friend Walt Osenkowski, who he said is in his 80s.
â€śHe loves his family, he loves Nuchieâ€™s and he loves the Catholic church,â€ť said Pasqualicchio. â€śLast Saturday he attended a Christmas party and broke down and cried. Christmas is about memories and emotions and it is special no matter how old you are.â€ť
Leo Bonolla, first deputy of the Forestville Village Association, also shared a message.
â€śWe wish you a Merry Christmas, a happy New Year, and we hope that your new year is better than the last,â€ť he said.
Deacon Brian Armstrong from St. Matthew Church read a â€śLetter from Santa to Jesusâ€ť in which Santa said he didnâ€™t mean to take Jesusâ€™ place for while Santa delivers gifts that bring temporary joy, Jesus offers unconditional love and salvation.
Armstrong then prayed that Jesus teach people to pray and open their hearts in kindness.
Maryellen Holden read a short Christmas poem about a bunny eating a snowmanâ€™s carrot nose.
She then said that since male reindeer lose their antlers for the winter, Santaâ€™s reindeer must be girls.
â€śWe should have known because, no offense Santa, only a woman could drag a big fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost,â€ť she said, prompting laughter.
Miss Forestville 2019 Jaime Bianca also had a story to share about how she was moved by the generosity of the community during a recent food drive. She said she had been stressing about finding the perfect gifts for family and friends, but was inspired by how kind people can be.
â€śThings can be replaced, but people canâ€™t,â€ť she said.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org