Rochester's Tree Lighting: Christmas carols and fire engine sleighs

Dec 5, 2017

On December 4, fifth-grader Tessa Winslow stood under the enormous tree in front of Rochester's Town Hall, waiting patiently for the crowd assembled to count down from 10.

"...Seven, six, five, four, three, two, one!" the crowd chanted. On the last word, Tessa flipped a switch and the tree was illuminated in bright Christmas lights. The holiday season had officially returned to the tri-town.

Winslow was this year's winner of the Tree Lighting's art contest—Rochester Memorial School students submit a holiday-themed drawing. The winning artist is given the opportunity to throw the switch and light the Rochester's Christmas tree.

Selectman Brad Morse gave a quick introduction to the lighting, introducing Winslow. Nearby, Rochester Memorial School's band played several holiday tunes. The elementary school's chorus soon joined in, performing renditions of "Marshmallow World," and "Jingle Bells."

Soon, the wail of a fire siren could be heard; this was the cue that Santa was on his way. The crowd cheered as Santa, above his audience in the bucket of a fire truck, asked all the children if they were ready for Christmas.

Santa then climbed down from the truck and brought gifts for the crowd; striped candy canes, which he handed out left and right.

When they had seen Santa, families moved inside Rochester's Town Hall. The elementary school students' artwork was on display. In the Town Hall's meeting room, Selectman Woody Hartley helped to serve eggnog and apple cider. Some families warmed up on the benches with eggnog and a holiday cookie in hand.