Chadwick Lake lights up for Christmas

By Alberto Gilman
Posted 12/8/21

The holiday season is in full swing in the Town of Newburgh as Friday, December 3 marked the annual tree lighting ceremony at Chadwick Lake Park.

During the holiday season the previous year, the …

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Chadwick Lake lights up for Christmas

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The holiday season is in full swing in the Town of Newburgh as Friday, December 3 marked the annual tree lighting ceremony at Chadwick Lake Park.

During the holiday season the previous year, the town was not able to host the annual lighting ceremony in-person due to the on-going pandemic. Instead, the town hosted a drive-by viewing of the tree. For those who attended, being back celebrating the holidays with family, friends and neighbors has made many happy.

“I think it’s the best thing they could do for kids especially after COVID and what everybody’s gone through,” Michelle Consorti said. “It’s something the kids need and I think the parents need it too.”

The tree lighting at Chadwick Lake was scheduled for six later that evening. As residents made their way to the park, they were greeted by the entrance with Christmas lights and balloons of various Christmas characters, all lit up for the Christmas season. Once finding a parking spot, residents made their way to the pavilion where they were treated to some holiday music. Hot chocolate and other snacks and sweets to enjoy were set at the other end for people to stop by and collect.

Vanessa Rice has been bringing her children to the tree lighting since they were very young. Tonight she was joined by her daughter Jasmine to take in the festivities. “I’m here because I love to hear the caroling singers,” Vanessa said.

For Jenna Sarvis, this is her third to fourth year coming to the tree lighting here in the town. “It’s nice that it’s coming back after COVID,” Sarvis said. As Christmas draws closer, she wishes her neighbors a ‘Merry Christmas and happy holidays’. For Lindsey Ingram, the tree lighting is a special tradition for her. On that night she was able to enjoy the ceremony with her daughter and a friend and her daughter as company. “I love coming here, we come every year,” Ingram said. With only a year living in the town under their belts, Esther Byman and her family are glad to be out here at Chadwick Lake celebrating the Christmas season.“Hope everyone enjoys the Christmas season, remembers to keep Christ in Christmas and spread peace and joy,” Byman said. The Lewinson family is also new to the town making this their first Christmas as Newburghers. Tonight for the tree lighting, the whole family came out to celebrate.

In the center of the pavilion stood a wooden Christmas stage with presents and holiday decorations, all prepared for some special guests visiting that night. Directly outside to the back was a pit with a fire going to keep the guests warm and entertained. Christmas carolers also sang classic songs to the crowd as they waited for the tree to be lit.

Before the tree was to be lit, town residents needed to wait for two very special guests for the holiday celebration. Coming up the road with sirens and lights flashing, Santa Claus and his wife Mrs. Claus arrived to greet all the guests and prepare them for the lighting. The Clauses greeted everyone who came to the celebration and quickly prepared them for countdown. Starting from 10 and finishing at 1, the tree was officially lit for all to see.

Ted Haible has been coming to the tree lighting for the last five years, which was around the time when his son was born. Haible said it’s ‘just great seeing all the kids out having fun, seeing Santa Claus’.

One by one, parents and children formed a line, waiting to meet Santa Claus. Children spent several minutes with their parents talking to Old Saint Nick before snapping a quick photograph and making their way off the stage. One by one, families and friends said goodbyes and headed home into the night.

The tree lighting ceremony this year marked the first one for Parks Commissioner James Presutti since he took over the role. While a bit overwhelmed in the beginning of the celebration and seeing so many residents coming out to celebrate, in the end, Presutti was truly happy for the ‘fantastic’ turnout.

“My heart is full right now,” Presutti said. “It’s just a beautiful thing to see the amount of people that came out to celebrate the season. It just makes me feel good to see people out again and being together again.”

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