WESTPORT, Conn. – Plenty of good cheer could be found throughout downtown Westport on Thursday evening as hundreds of residents gathered to kick off the holiday season at the town’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony and later at Christ & Holy Trinity Church.
The festivities began shortly after 5 p.m. outside Town Hall, where First Selectman Gordon Joseloff lit the large tree on the front lawn with the flip of a switch. Children and adults alike cheered as a string of multicolored lights glowed on the tree.
“It’s just lovely,” said resident Julia Wilson, who recently moved to Westport with her family. “It brings the town together.”
Wilson’s 20-month-old daughter, Ellie, was one of many children who flocked to the tree to marvel at the lights.
After the brief ceremony, some residents walked across the street to the Westport Historical Society to warm up with a free cup of tea provided by the new downtown retailer David’s Tea. Others walked up Myrtle Avenue to Christ & Holy Trinity Church, where the Westport Downtown Merchants Association was hosting its second annual Season of Giving party.
At the church, residents of all ages were treated to live music by the Staples High School Orphenians and local singer/songwriter Chris Coogan. They also enjoyed hot food, drinks and a visit from Santa Claus. Instead of a reindeer-driven sleigh, Santa arrived aboard a Westport fire truck and was greeted by an eager crowd of children.
The party also included ice sculpture demonstrations, a bonfire and crafts for kids. More than a dozen local nonprofits attended, spreading the word about their organization’s missions and accepting donations.
If you missed the fun, the Downtown Merchants Association is hosting other holiday-themed events the weekends of Dec. 8 and Dec. 15. These downtown events will include free horse and buggy rides, carolers, a strolling Santa and more.
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