MERIDEN — The city’s Festival of Silver Lights lighting ceremony took place Wednesday night in Hubbard Park.
As the sun went down, people gathered in the park to enjoy hot chocolate and candy canes. Children from the Meriden Youth Theatre performed Christmas carols and Santa and Frosty the Snowman gave out candy to children.
Meriden resident Zaida Rosa, 58, attends the ceremony each year.
“With COVID being under control and people getting vaccinated, it feels good to come out here,” Rosa said. “I’m very happy everyone could come out and enjoy. My favorite part is seeing the lights and the family and children together.”
At 6:15 p.m., Mayor Kevin Scarpati stood alongside 5-year-old Liam McGauvran to officially turn on the more 350,000 bulbs throughout the park.
“The lights will be open all season long,” Scarpati said. “We encourage you, your friends, and residents across the state of Connecticut to see what Meriden has to offer.”
City employees have been working since September to get over 200 displays ready.
“This was an awesome turnout,” said the city's Recreation Coordinator Cathy Matula. “Even though it is chilly, everyone came to celebrate.”
This year’s new addition is a lighted archway at the entrance to the display.
Meriden resident Audrey Case, 45, said it was her first time attending the lighting ceremony. She brought her 6-year-old nephew.
“The atmosphere is happy and cheerful. I enjoy seeing the children sing and look forward to the lights,” she said.