HomeBerlin NewsBerlin Borough held its annual tree lighting ceremony

Berlin Borough held its annual tree lighting ceremony

The tree was lit in front of Borough Hall and Santa arrived with a parade of fire trucks. Children had a chance to sit on Santa’s lap and give him their Christmas wish list.

The parade included a fire truck covered in Christmas lights.

The holiday season is officially underway in Berlin Borough. Hundreds of residents from the town and the surrounding communities attended the annual tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 3 at Village Square.

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The tree was lit in front of borough hall after Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus arrived on one of the fire trucks during a parade. The Berlin Rotary Club provided hot chocolate and cookies, and the Solid Rock Baptist Church Choir sang Christmas carols. Vendors were on display selling crafts, Mayor Jim Bilella and his family roasted chestnuts over an open fire, and there was a live petting zoo to the children’s delight. Children also had their chance to sit on Santa’s lap and give him their Christmas wish list.

Berlin Borough resident Casey Buchanan was at the event with her family and loves traditions with her children.

“Christmas in this town is starting to mean everyone getting together and connecting,” she said. “I look forward to Christmas every year, especially the traditions. We have Advent calendars, and instead of getting little chocolates each day like we had when I was a little kid, I have a piece of paper with an activity on it, like camping out under the Christmas tree or watching ‘White Christmas’ and having hot cocoa. My kids look forward to it every morning.”

Santa and Mrs. Claus wave to the crowd as they arrive at Village Square.

The tree lighting ceremony is a tradition with Margaret Gibson and her family. Each year, her cousins and their families gather for one of their birthdays, and they always plan it on the night of the tree lighting ceremony so they can walk to Village Square as one big family.

“Each year it grows because we keep having babies,” she said.

One of her cousins, Jaclyn Miller Taylor, looks forward to the tree lighting ceremony with everyone and loves everything that leads up to the holiday.

“My favorite thing about Christmas is the anticipation leading up to Christmas Day,” the Berlin Borough resident said. “I love all the decorations, going to the tree lightings with my family and going to see Santa Claus with my son. My family’s traditions are all getting together to have dinner, and Santa comes on the fire truck on Christmas Eve for all the kids.”

The Solid Rock Baptist Church Choir singing Christmas carols.

Every Christmas Eve, Berlin Rotary Club member Randy von der Tann and his family watch a Christmas movie and put a treat out for the reindeer.

“We watch a good Christmas movie like the Griswold’s ‘National Lampoon Christmas Vacation’ or ‘Home Alone,’” he said. “Then before bed, all the kids go out front and empty bags of reindeer food in the yard for Santa’s deer.”

Getting gifts is what von der Tann loved most about Christmas as a kid, and now as a father, he loves seeing the joy on his children’s faces Christmas morning. Another part he loves and is passionate about during the holiday season is giving back to others.

“Now that I’m older and a father of two children, I look forward to seeing how excited they get when they receive gifts from Santa,” he said. “And as a Rotarian and member of the Berlin Rotary Club, I really enjoy being part of such a great group of men and women that are able to help out some people that are less fortunate than others. It makes me feel great that we can help make someone’s Christmas a great one when were asked to help out.”


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