New Windsor held its annual Christmas tree lighting last Friday in front of the New Windsor Town Hall. The event was a gathering of all members of the community.
The event also featured food vendors, holiday vendors, and sponsors. Attendees also had the opportunity to participate in a Christmas Hayride, and experience entertainment like Jester Jim and his juggling, comedy, and beatbox show.
“I’ve been here 14 years,” said Matt Veronesi, New Windsor Director of Parks, Recreation, Buildings and Grounds. “They’ve had this [tree lighting] long before I was here.” Veronesi believes the lighting has been done for over 20 years.
Unlike other areas, New Windsor doesn’t outsource their tree. “It’s a tree that’s always here,” said Veronesi. “It’s in the ground. It’s not like we bring it in from anywhere. It’s a real tree growing in the ground [in front of town hall].”
The tree lighting is a town tradition that has never failed to excite older and younger members of the community. The tree is officially lit, after Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus arrive on the scene. The tree is lit to cheers and applause.
In addition, the event featured Disney characters like Princess Jasmine and the Mad Hatter. Other than the tree lighting, the highlight of the event for many was Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.
Carissa Radermacagr, and her daughter Brooke, were one of many residents waiting in line to see the Clauses. Radermacagr has been a resident of New Windsor for the past nine years. For Radermacagr, this lighting was her first town tree lighting with Brooke.
“It’s a nice little community thing to participate in,” said Rademacagr. Like Brooke, Radermacagr is also excited to see Santa. “Yeah!” screamed Brooke when asked if she was excited to meet Santa.
“It’s great to see the community come out and come together,” said Veronesi.