Santa cruises through town during annual tree lighting

Dec 3, 2018

ROCHESTER — Santa Claus is back in town! Though usually guided by nine reindeer in his sleigh, he arrived to this year’s Tree Lighting Ceremony in the passenger seat of a fire engine. 

Selectmen Greenwood Hartley delivered a quick introduction to the ceremony, taking a moment to thank the town departments for putting the event together. 

The Rochester Memorial School band, directed by Chris Williamson, played a handful of holiday favorites, including “Carol of the Bells” and “Frosty the Snowman.” The elementary school’s chorus also joined in, adding their renditions of “Winter Wonderland” and “Let it Snow.”

Soon, it was time for the big moment of the night. “...Five, four, three, two, one!” the crowd chanted in unison. On the final word, the switch was flipped and Rochester’s Christmas tree lit up for the first time this year. 

As the chorus finished their final tune, sirens could be heard in the distance. Not a truck responding to a fire, but one delivering Santa to answer Christmas wishes and hand out some sweets.  

Santa climbed out of the truck, arms held high in the air, and let out a hearty “Merry Christmas!” For the next few minutes, Santa seemed like the merriest rock star in the world — handing out candy canes left and right. 

After Santa gave out his Christmas goodies, Hartley helped to serve eggnog and apple cider inside Town Hall. Some families enjoyed the warm night and tasted their holiday treats on the lawn outside.