NEWTON, NJ - The warm rain made it seem like spring but there was no mistaking the season in front of Newton’s Town Hall on Monday. The Town of Newton’s annual tree-lighting ceremony drew a big crowd despite the rain.
Newton’s Town Manager Thomas S. Russo, Jr., also adorned in Christmas lights, offered welcoming remarks. Miss Newton Amelia Maccietto, Little Miss Newon Zariah Moore and Little Mr. Newton Rodolfo Romero also took part in the opening ceremonies.
Children from St Joseph’s Regional School Choir, accompanied on keyboard by music teacher Mike “Mr Y” Yesenosky, sang a number of holiday favorites, decked out in Santa hats.
Merriam Avenue School and Halsted Middle School children had created decorations for the township tree under the guidance of their teachers Kathy Thurston and Kate Del-Vecchio.
The lights on the tree were illuminated to the cheers of those gathered, huddling close to the building to stay dry. Next, the sounds of sirens could be heard as a firetruck, with a police escort came down Spring Street bringing Santa, to the delight of the children.
Under an umbrella, Santa made his way inside town hall with the children close behind. Family by family, the children had a chance to talk to Santa, though most were star struck, only managing a look and a smile before receiving a candy cane. One youngster, however reacted when Santa said the Elf on a Shelf had told him the boy could be behaving better at home. Surprised, the boy turned to Santa and said, “You do know that is not true, right? I’m a good boy.”
A number of people were thanked for their support including the Mayor Daniel Flynn, Deputy Mayor Sandy Diglio, Council Members Kristen Becker, Kevin Elvidge, and Wayne Levante. Newton School Superintendent Dr. Kennedy Greene, Recreation Supervisor Debbie Danielson, Recreation Commission members Frank Sebastiano, Hank Smith, Jean Bond, Rufus Coward, Ray Morris and Mike Teets and the DPW Staff.