Christmas Tree Lighting & Photo Gallery

Thanks to Mrs. Claus for providing this report and the photo gallery that follows.

High pitched squeals of delight from the five and under set greeted Santa upon his arrival at the Charlestown Town Hall on Friday night. Delivered by the Charlestown Fire Department with lights flashing and sirens blaring, Santa and his Elves appreciated the hearty welcome that filled the crisp night with cheers and applause.

Young and old enthusiastically joined Parks and Recreation Director Vicky Hilton in the countdown to the lighting of the Christmas tree. Assisting her every step of the way were Parks and Recreation Secretary, Rebecca Crosby, and Department of Public Works staffer, Don Lewis.

Grandparents, parents, and children drank hot chocolate, ate cookies, sampled gingerbread houses, and listened to the Chariho Middle School 5th and 6th grade chorus under the direction of their most capable music teacher Lynn Dowding. Children, some parents, and even Santa and his Elves rode the mechanical reindeer and snow tiger provided by Arrowhead Dental.

Children made crafts distributed by Troop 15 Boy Scouts for the eighth year in a row. Having just returned from their fall campout at which they cooked 160 pounds of turkey, the scouts transitioned from traditional scouting activities to volunteering without skipping a beat. Some proudly wore their Order of the Arrow sashes, and all present said they look forward to making Eagle Scout and having their names engraved on the Town Hall plaque along with the other 64 Eagles from the troop.

Younger children told Santa about their wish lists for the 2015 holiday. They were original and ranged from a “brown puppy” and “Legos” to a “Lamborghini.” With helpful nods from parents, Santa took cues and responded with due diligence. He suggested a stuffed animal for a brown puppy and a red racing model for a Lamborghini. Legos seemed to be a popular item this year.

What stole Santa’s heart was the gift of joy brought by the children. Their smiles, laughter, and belief in a season of light gave all the adults the feeling they had received more than the children. Ouray LaRose sat on Santa’s lap and in telling Santa what he wanted, Ouray gave Santa a starfish. Santa promised to keep the memento as a reminder of Charlestown’s promising youth and young families.

Santa thanked Vicky Hilton and Rebecca Crosby of Parks and Recreation for spearheading the effort to bring a joyous and safe evening to open the holiday season in Charlestown. He also recognized the efforts of the Department of Public Works, the Charlestown Police and Fire Departments, the Chariho Middle School, and Arrowhead Dental.

Click on any photo below to open a lightbox gallery