Saugus welcomes the holiday season tonight with its Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Festivities. Santa’s arrival expected at 7 p.m.
By Mark E. Vogler
‘Tis the season to celebrate at Town Hall!
Thousands of town residents — from toddlers to senior citizens — are expected to congregate at Saugus Center tonight (Friday, Nov. 30) as the town officially kicks off the holiday season with its annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Festivities.
“This is one of our Town’s most unforgettable annual events, so I hope to see you all there,” Town Manager Scott C. Crabtree said in a recent statement that announced the event.
“Each year the Tree Lighting Ceremony and Festivities is bigger and more magical than ever, thanks to countless hours of preparation and setup by volunteers, the Department of Youth and Recreation, the Department of Public Works, the Building Maintenance Department, and numerous other municipal employees,” Crabtree said.
“This beloved event would also not be possible without the continued support and generosity from residents and local businesses,” he said.
The highlight of the evening, of course, will be Santa’s appearance at the entrance of Town Hall. That is set for 7 o’clock tonight. One of several horse-drawn carriages will drop him off on the sidewalk on Central Street. And he will be escorted up the front steps, into the hall and up to the second floor auditorium.
Once Santa is seated surrounded by his elves in a special chair next to a Christmas tree, kids of all ages (yes, some grown-ups have been known to sit in his lap or on his knee) will get in line so they can greet Santa and have their photograph taken with him. Santa will be available for up to 90 minutes.
An evening program of family-oriented activities actually gets underway at 5 p.m. The events include sleigh rides, a petting zoo, a moon bounce, hot chocolate, cookies, entertainment, hayrides, story time, and much more.
“The Town is also excited for the return of holiday trackless train rides, which will run weather permitting,” Crabtree said.
“Please join your family and friends and come out to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season as a community,” said Town Manager Crabtree.
The tree lighting event and Santa’s arrival are just part of weekend filled with holiday events:
- St. Margaret’s Christmas Stroll is scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 1.) The church will serve a meatball sub lunch from 9AM to 5:30PM at St. Margaret’s at 431 Lincoln Ave. in Saugus.
The church will also be serving breakfast on Sunday (Dec. 2), from 8:30 AM to Noon, Highlights of the stroll include 40-plus raffles, baked goods and Christmas gifts. If you have any questions, please call Carol at 781-233-1040. Or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Cliftondale Congregational Church hosts its annual Advent Festival tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 1), from 2 to 4 pm. There will be cookies and cocoa, crafts for both kids and adults, a Christmas carol sing-a-long and an ugly Christmas sweater contest. For more information, contact Debbie at the church office, 50 Essex St., Saugus, 781-233-2663 or email her at email@example.com. Or check out the website: cliftondalecc.net.
- A holiday jazz concert Sunday (Dec. 2), from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Community Room of the Saugus Public Library. TheNew England Conservatory of Music ensemble, 8 Legs, will perform. No reservations are required.
“Just stroll on in through the Library’s Taylor Street entrance and enjoy some hot jazz to kick off a cool holiday,” Saugus Public Library Director Alan Thibeault said.
- Saugus Boy Scout Troop 62’s Annual Christmas Tree Sale is underway in the lot on Salem Turnpike (Route 107) at the Ballard Street Lights. Residents will be able to buy holiday wreaths and trees — from table top size to eight feet tall — Monday through Friday: 4 to 10 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., through Dec. 24th (Christmas Eve) or until the trees and wreaths are sold out. Delivery is available and all proceeds support the scouts of Troop 62.