Windham Lights up to Welcome Santa
December 16, 2016
by Jay Hobson
Saturday afternoon, Dec. 3 was cold and breezy, but that didn’t stop the Windham community from welcoming Santa Claus to town and having the annual tree lighting ceremony. Santa probably felt right at home with the chill in the air.
“Santa arrived at 3 p.m. and was escorted by the Nancy Chippendale Dancers known as the Chippettes. It’s their first year with us,” said Windham Recreation Coordinator Cheryl Haas. “We don’t have the Salem High School Marching Band with us this year as we have in the past. They had graciously continued here with us even though there are no Windham students at Salem High anymore, so this is our first year without the band.”
The Boy Scouts provided warmth with a blazing fire that gave a community atmosphere and conversation for those sipping hot chocolate and a means to warm little hands and pink noses of young children.
Children were treated to photo opportunities with Elsa and Olaf from the Disney animated film “Frozen,” which seemed appropriate given the cold.
The tree lighting involved a unique experience.
“We had to cut down the tree we were going to decorate. It was really dead and awful, and it was going to be coming down after this tree lighting, but we couldn’t use it this year at all, so it had to come down at the last minute,” Haas said. “Thankfully Delahunty’s and the highway department cut it down and put in a replacement 15-foot tree in its place. It is a cute looking tree and a lot better that the other one would have been.”
While the festivities were going on outside, Santa was greeting children and making additions to his list for Christmas in the TV studio inside. There were a couple of charitable activities going on as well.
Daisy Girl Scout Troup 51985 was accepting donated mittens, while Windham’s Helping Hands, an organization to help folks who have fallen on hard times, was taking donations to help roughly 125 families who are in need.
At 4:45 the Middle School Chorus gathered at the Christmas tree in the gathering darkness and sang some carols along with residents who had gathered around the tree, and, at approximately 5 p.m., the darkness was dispersed by the colorful lights that filled the branches of the Christmas tree amid much applause.