If all you saw were the faces of those in attendance at the Village of East Williston’s tree lighting, it would be easy to forget that the sizable crowd gathered on the Village Green was standing in some pretty steady precipitation. The rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of the more than 100 residents who gathered to kick off the holiday season in East Williston on Tuesday, Dec. 6.
Mayor David Tanner said the tree lighting, which is an annual tradition in the village, is all about bringing families and neighbors together.
“People enjoy it so much, they’ll come out in the rain or even if there was three feet of snow on the ground,” Tanner said. “It’s wonderful for families to come out and be with their families and neighbors.”
Deputy Mayor Bonnie Parente said the tree lighting is the best event of the year.
“It’s not just about the holidays, it’s about everything that culminated at the end of the year for the village,” Parente said. “Everyone enjoys it, the fire department is here, the Scouts are here, the schools send students. It’s a time to sing and rejoice and be thankful.”
After an opening greeting by Tanner, the crowd sang “We Wish You A Merry Christmas,” and then the tree was lit. As attendees admired the tree, a siren signaled the arrival of Santa Claus, on the back of an East Williston Fire Department fire engine. He was right on time, as the rain began to intensify and residents headed into Village Hall for hot chocolate and cookies and pictures with Father Christmas.