Bundled up against the chilly air, a large crowd of residents gathered at the Coventry Community Center to witness the town's 23rd Christmas Tree Lighting. The tree that currently stands on the Center's lawn was moved there from an Indian Trail property in August to replace the former tree that had started to wither after nearly 22 years at the location.
Again this year, The Reminder provided caroling songbooks that were handed out with candles. The crowd surrounded the tree and joined the Pawtuxet Valley Community Chorus in singing traditional carols while counting down the minutes until the tree would be come alive with lights.
Mr. and Mrs. Claus were greeted by a swarm of children when they arrived shortly after 6 p.m. on Central Coventry Fire's ladder truck. After greeting the crowd they lit the tree that now sparkles with thousands of white lights and joined the chorus in a rendition of "Jingle Bells" before heading inside to enjoy cookies, juice, Christmas crafts and photos with the children of Coventry.
Parks and Recreation Program Director Jason Licciardi thanked the crowd for braving the cold to celebrate the beloved event, as well as The Reminder, Pawtuxet Valley Community Chorus, Central Coventry Fire District and Seascape for decorating the Community Center for Christmas.
"They can do what they want at the State House in Providence, but here in Coventry, we light a Christmas Tree," said Town Council President Gary Cote as a loud round of applause broke out. "I just wanted to thank everyone for coming out this evening and wish you all a Merry Christmas!"