SOUTHINGTON – White Christmas In The Community saw town-wide festivities and cheer Friday as carriages clopped down streets, songs filled the air and festive lights lit the way.
Families gathered around the town green, bundled up and drinking hot chocolate. Elvis Christmas songs played from the stage - with the occasional bleat contributed by Bradley Mountain Farms’ “Goat Ambassadors” dressed in sweaters and Santa hats.
The crows awaited the lighting of the green and town leaders giving their season’s greetings.
Dawn Miceli, town councilor and one of the evening organizers, then took the stage accompanied by fellow councilors Chris Palmieri and Chris Poulos. She thanked all of the committee members and sponsors who made the event possible at no cost to taxpayers.
“A lot of work went into this event,” she said. “We have so much going on tonight so make sure to try everything there is to do. We have ornament making at SoCCA (Southington Community Cultural Arts), the Chamber is ding a scavenger hunt, LEAF (Lewis Educational Agriculture Farms) are doing wreath making and we have an ice sculptor. There are hay rides, trolley rides and horse drawn carriages. There are activities and deals at most businesses and Santa is here too. Along our Linear Trail we have an awesome new lighted figure of a nine foot prancing horse.”
Miceli then introduced Tyler Johnson, a seven-year-old who won a town-wide contest to light the town green this year. After a countdown and a push of a button, reindeer lights and Christmas trees glowed to life.
“Merry Christmas, happy holidays and God bless you all,” said Miceli.
Families then fanned out to check out the different activities throughout town. In addition to those previously mentioned, the High School’s cheerleaders sang Christmas carols at the town green’s gazebo and other carolers sang from the steps of First Congregational Church.
Warren Adams took pictures of his five-year-old daughter Peyton with her face painted like a tiger as she posed near a lighted reindeer.
“We have been living in town for four years and going to all the community events,” said Adams. “This is our second year here. It is a fantastic event for kids and for the whole family. We’re going to go see Santa and we’re looking forward to going on the trolley and making ornaments.”
Melissa and Scott Mulrooney, of Southington, brought their nine-year-old son Nicholas and eight-year-old son Andrew out for a night of fun.
“I love seeing the goats and the tree lighting,” said Melissa Mulrooney. “One of my friends is also doing karaoke here.”
Madison and Michael and their grandmother Carol came out to the event for the first year.
“I have lived in town for 45 years and I’ve never been down here,” said Carol. “My grandchildren used to live in Cheshire but since coming here they have been all excited about it. Everyone has been talking about it in school.”
Deanna Cinami brought her eight-year-old daughter Jenna out to have fun.
“This is the first time we’ve come to the Southington part of the festival,” she said. “We’ve been to it in Plantsville. At Zingarella last year they had ornament making upstairs and at the fire station they had a great walk through tour with Santa. We’re excited to see the goats and the carolers.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.