By Matthew Saari

Below freezing temperatures did little to deter more than 300 Whitehallers from converging on Skenesborough Park and ringing in the holidays with this year’s tree-lighting ceremony.

This year’s event – which is the third organized by Dawn Chittenden and a group of volunteers – started in earnest with the Whitehall High School Select Choir serenading those in attendance with Christmas Carols, while the gathered milled around a blazing fire, sipping hot cocoa and munching on snacks.

Not long after, the night was lit with flashing red lights and air horns as Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company fire trucks drove down Poultney Street.

But no fire was to be had this chilly night. Instead, the local firefighters were fresh returned from a lengthy trip to the North Pole to pick up a special guest.

“It was a long trip up there but it was worth every minute,” said second assistant chief Jim Brooks upon debarking one fire engine with the VIP – Santa Claus.

Santa, with a police and firefighter escort, strode across the park, finding his place of honor by the as-yet unlit Christmas tree.

 

This is only a preview of the story published in the Whitehall Times. To read the full story, pick up a print copy of this week’s paper at the newsstand or read it online here.

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