Fanfare and Families Define Litchfield’s First Christmas Tree Lighting

December 7, 2018



by Doug Robinson

Families and friends, both young and old alike, celebrated together the first Christmas tree lighting in the town of Litchfield.

Not dozens, nor hundreds, but it had to be more than a thousand residents strong who turned out to celebrate this historic event at Darrah Pond. Dressed in warm hats, mittens, and wearing the ugliest sweaters ever seen south of the North Pole, the residents of Litchfield would not be denied the enjoyment of family fun at this first-ever annual gathering.

Santa arrived by fire truck to the fanfare of lights and sirens courtesy of the Litchfield Fire Department. Hauling his large red sack over his right shoulder, the jolly elf offered gifts and smiles to all the boys and girls. “Have you been naughty or nice?” Santa would ask and then he would shake with laughter, exclaiming “ho, ho, ho.”

The tree lighting ceremony provided an opportunity for many town businesses and organizations to display their crafts and their programs. Talent Hall showcased the wonderful opportunities for all those who wish to own a business, participate within the schools, provide Scouting opportunities, or help out the Toys for Tots program.

Santa’s mission was to light up the huge Christmas tree located in the center of Darrah Park. As he crossed the large field, he finally made it to the center where the huge electrical light switch was awaiting his gloved white hand.

Everyone met in the middle of the field, stretching their arms with phones poised to capture that magical moment when St. Nick walked center stage to flip the switch that would light up the Christmas tree.

Children sat upon the shoulders of those who were older or taller, and other children sat on the ground waiting for Santa to walk by. While some children were lifted high for that better view, others cowered and remained close within the arms of their protectors. The wall of spectators was lined up 10 deep on both sides of Santa, cheering, reaching, and shouting his name.

The scene resembled that of a concert rock star. Yet, in this instance, the center of attention was Santa Claus.

And with the flick of the switch, and the twitch of his nose, the first Litchfield Christmas tree was illuminated for all to know.

To say that the crowd cheered and roared would be an understatement. This celebration was the celebration of all celebrations in this tiny town. The only thing missing was the fireworks from a July 4th event. The extreme roar of excitement from the crowd was deafening, yet, most of all, heartwarming. Those goosebumps of joy were almost palpable among the joyous crowd.

Litchfield is a town full of friends who value their friendships and relationships with each other. This is called community. To the rest of the world, these relationships are called family.