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Cheshire takes tree lighting to another level

CHESHIRE — To celebrate the end of autumn and the coming of winter, Cheshire’s Parks and Recreation Department is sponsoring several holiday events.

Hoping to get people outside while promoting activity and a sense of community, what many might consider the “main event” of those activities will be looking to take a holiday tradition in exciting new directions.

The annual tree-lighting ceremony in Cheshire has always served as the unofficial ushering-in of the season. In the past, the event was held on the green in front of First Congregational Church, with carolers and cocoa, and a visit by Santa.

During the pandemic, the town began to light the tree at Bartlem Park. Now, organizers are looking to turn the tree lighting into something more robust.

This Sunday, Dec. 4, from 4 to 7 p.m., the town will offer full-on holiday festivities at Bartlem Park. Hayrides will be available, provided by the team at Blue Hills Orchard of Wallingford. Hot chocolate and chestnuts will be on hand for snacking. A flashlight-aided candy cane hunt sponsored by the Cheshire Lions Club should lead explorers to more snacks too.

Cravin’ Food Trucks will be on site with food to purchase as well.

An ice carving demonstration is just one of several crafts that will be on display, with longer-lasting items available for purchase, And what kind of holiday festival would be complete without music, which will come courtesy of the Mazzone Brothers.

At approximately 5 p.m., there will be caroling.

For those who celebrate traditions like Seinfeld’s “Festivus” — where practitioners partake in the airing of grievances — what better way to vent frustrations than by participating in a community snowball fight?

And then the entire celebration will culminate with the lighting of the tree, for which Santa and a few helpers should be on hand to usher in the new holiday season.

In addition, the winner of a Cheshire Junior Women’s Club contest will be helping Santa light the tree. Participants were asked to post a picture of a favorite holiday memory in the comment section below a Facebook post on the Parks and Rec site — https://www.facebook.com/cheshireparksandrec — and include an explanation of why it is a favorite memory.

Participants had to be Cheshire residents in grades K-6 and available on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 5:30 p.m., when the tree is lit.

The winner was scheduled to be chosen at random on Friday.


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