Shrewsbury welcomed hundreds to its great lawn Saturday afternoon for its annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony.
The town kicked off the event by welcoming Santa Claus, who took his familiar seat in the borough's gazebo and greeted all of the borough's children, listening to their Christmas wishes and posing for photos.
Santa's visit was followed by carols performed by students from Shrewsbury Boro School. Mayor Donald Burden and several councilmen were on hand for the day's festivities and prior to the lighting of the town's new tree - Shrewsbury's previous tree succumbed to an illness and needed to be replaced - Burden provided a few words for the occasion:
This afternoon and evening, Shrewsbury officially welcomes the festive holiday season to our community. As I look around, I see Shrewsbury's youngest beaming with the excitement of the season. And I see Moms and Dads, Aunts and Uncles, Grandparents and Great Grandparents, neighbors and friends attending in support of this Christmas tree lighting holiday tradition.
This Christmas Tree lighting celebration, coupled with all the participants from the Shrewsbury Boro School, the local volunteer representatives from SPTG, the Shrewsbury Hose Company, the First Aid Squad, members of DPW and the Police Department, members of Council and the Boro Administration truly represents the uniqueness of a small community congregating to spend a few moments together to launch the 2012 holiday season. Thank you, thank you.
Shrewsbury’s historical four corners will be the site of additional holiday celebrations - the Menorah Lighting, the Lantern Tour, and the Christmas Church Bazaars. And don’t forget tomorrow’s pancake breakfast with Santa at the Firehouse. Your support of these events is appreciated.
While the excitements and joys of this event dominant the cool air this evening, let us all be remindful of the needs of our surrounding community members who were so severely impacted by Sandy and the double whammy of the snowstorm. Such devastation is unprecedented in the eastern part of Monmouth County and specifically our shore neighbors. I would ask each of us to reach out to those perhaps less fortunate than many of us gathered here this evening to insure their needs are not forgotten and addressed appropriately.
I’d also invite you to thank members of DPW for the stellar work they have done and continue to do to make sure the brush and leaves are picked up to clear a path for Santa’s visit.
All of our sponsors for tonight’s event should take great satisfaction in the fact that without their support, our Christmas tree lighting event would not be possible. To Karen, Kim and the entire committee, thank you. And a big thank you to Ron Neis from DPW for locating a new community Christmas tree and making sure there is power available to make the tree sparkle and the star shine across these open spaces.
The time has come to LIGHT THE TREE and to spread and share the holiday spirit throughout SHREWSBURY.