Large crowd celebrates annual Christmas Tree lighting and early Santa visit

Warwick. Traditional event held at Lewis Park with newly planted tree.

| 30 Nov 2021 | 02:59

On Friday evening, Nov. 26, it was on the cool side with high winds and temperatures in the mid-thirties, but nevertheless a large crowd, estimated at more than 250 residents, turned out for Warwick’s official annual Christmas Tree lighting.

That was a welcome change from last year when a much smaller number attended a modified celebration during the pandemic restrictions.

And there was another big change this year as everyone gathered in Lewis Park around the newly planted tree near the intersection of Main and Church Streets. It has replaced the very large tree by the Old School Baptist Meeting House, which became too difficult to string lights.

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

Before the tree lighting, 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.

Town of Warwick Supervisor Michael Sweeton and Mayor Michael Newhard each welcomed everyone to the beginning of the holiday season and praised the men and women of the fire department for their service throughout the year. They both wished everyone a Merry Christmas.

Stevens thanked the Warwick Historical Society for providing the area for the new tree, which she said may eventually grow to 60 feet high.

Stevens then led the crowd in the 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 excited children who lined up to greet him.

- Roger Gavan