On Friday, the city of Pittsfield kicked off the Christmas festivities by lighting up the 35-foot tree that stands in Park Square.
And then, riding on the back of a fire engine, Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived to sit down and listen to what the good little boys and girls of the city want for Christmas.
"It is really a special occasion. This is really what hometown is all about, the coming together to celebrate kindness, giving, and generosity in the holiday season," Mayor Linda Tyer said.
The festivities started with the Taconic High School chorus singing carols. Patrick's Pub provided hot chocolate and food was collected to donate the Christian Center.
The tree, featuring thousands of lights, towers high in Park Square. It had been planted on a Broadway Street property 30 years ago. But, it had gotten too tall and was threatening electric lines. Homeowners Teena Guenther and Paul Askew decided to donate it to the city.
The couple joined their 8-year-old son Noah to flip the switch and light it up Friday night. The tree had been planted by the former property owner, Jim Sullivan, whose daughter had brought the sprig home from school.
In the spring, Guenther plans to let Noah plant another one on the property. And maybe, 30 years from now, that one will become the city's Christmas Tree.
After the lights went on, the Taconic chorus started up again but all heads were turned to blaring sirens from a firetruck circling around Park Square. And riding on the back was none other than Santa and Mrs. Claus. The two had made the trip from the North Pole just to visit the city before Christmas.
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