SUMMIT, NJ - On an appropriately and seasonably chilly, blustery night, Summit did what it does best -- gather together to celebrate the sense of community that makes the town a special place. On this occasion, they were joined by an out-of-towner but, in true Hilltop City tradition, Summit residents welcomed the visitor as if he was one of their own.
Of course, this wasn't just any visitor, it was Father Christmas himself. Kris Kringle. Pere Noel. Saint Nicholas, Ded Moroz. Bobba Natale.
It was Santa Claus, and he rode to the Village Green on a big red sled, but not his usual mode of transport, rather the chosen sleigh was Summit Fire Department Engine #3.
Arriving at the Green, he was welcomed by Mayor Nora Radest and joined the City's top elected official to push the button that lit the 'Town Tree'.
Holiday tunes from World of Rock filled the air, ice sculptures were carved on the spot, and the large crowd that had gathered to meet and greet Santa sipped hot chocolate and enjoyed goodies provided by the Summit Police Athletic League.
On Maple Street, which was closed by the Summit Police Department for the event, non-profits collected winter hats and gloves and provided and opportunity for citizens to send their messages of support to members of the military, veterans, and their families via the Red Cross 'Holiday for Heroes' program, which enables Americans to “Give Something That Means Something” this holiday season and other holidays year-round through a variety of activities.
As Jeslyn Wheeless of the Summit Free Public Library concluded her reading of Clement Clark Moore's A Visit from St. Nicholas, better know as 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, the event drew to a close, the final words of the classic holiday poem serving as the ideal cap to the evening.
"And to All, a Good Night."