Record crowd at Warwick's Christmas Tree lighting and early Santa visit


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  • Photos by Roger Gavan In 2003, the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony moved to Lewis Park after years of being held at “Railroad Green.” Since that time the Historical Society of the Town of Warwick has helped the Warwick Fire Department continue its long tradition by graciously providing the magnificent evergreen, just outside its Old School Baptist MeetingHouse.




  • Santa, traveling in a modern fire apparatus, made his usual early surprise visit and handed out goodies to the excited children who lined up to greet him.




  • Teo, 2, has the best seat in the house on the shoulders of his father, Joshua Meci.




  • Before the tree lighting, students involved in the Warwick Valley High School Chorus Program and some members of the Meistersingers treated the audience to a selection of traditional Christmas songs.




— It was cold with temperatures in the mid-teens but, nevertheless, on Friday evening, Nov. 23, another record crowd, estimated at more than 500 residents, turned out for Warwick's official Christmas Tree lighting.

The annual event, enjoyed by parents, grandparents and children, was sponsored by the Warwick Volunteer Fire Department.

And volunteers and members of the Fire Department Auxiliary were also on hand to serve free hot chocolate.

Before the tree-lighting, students involved in the Warwick Valley High School Chorus Program and some members of the Meistersingers treated the audience to a selection of traditional Christmas songs.

Warwick Fire Department President Melissa Stevens then welcomed visitors and introduced guest speakers.

Fire Department Chaplain Barry O'Neill offered an invocation, in which he urged everyone celebrating the Christmas season to remember the families of those men and women serving in the armed forces.

The invocation was followed by brief remarks by Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton and Mayor Michael Newhard, both of whom praised the men and women of the fire department for their service throughout the year and wished everyone a Merry Christmas.

Stevens then led the crowd in the traditional countdown to the tree lighting.

And once again, Santa, traveling in a modern fire apparatus, made his usual early surprise visit and handed out goodies to the children who lined up to greet him.

In 2003, the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony moved to Lewis Park after years of being held at "Railroad Green."

Since that time the Historical Society of the Town of Warwick has helped the Warwick Fire Department continue its long tradition by providing the magnificent evergreen, just outside its Old School Baptist MeetingHouse.

- Roger Gavan






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