POUND RIDGE, N.Y. The Christmas season officially kicked off in Pound Ridge late Sunday afternoon with the towns annual tree-lighting ceremony and an appearance from everybodys favorite jolly old elf Santa Claus.
The event, held at the firehouse on Westchester Avenue in Scotts Corners, was sponsored by the Pound Ridge Business Association and the Volunteer Fire Department. Nearly 100 people crammed the firehouses parking lot to take part in singing carols, gobble up Christmas cookies and hot chocolate, and watch Santa lead the countdown to the lighting of the giant pine tree.
Maryellen Walsh of the Pound Ridge Business Association said the event has been taking place annually for around 20 years, but that this year boasted one of the biggest crowds.
This is the warmest weather we have ever had for this, she said, surveying the crowd as the youngsters awaited Santas arrival via fire truck. You know, the most popular question that we get every year is, Is that the real Santa?
To encourage Santas arrival, the crowd gathered around the tree to sing. They were led by Pound Ridge Elementary fifth graders Nicole Mulleady, Joanie Galloway-Kahn and Rebecca Malpica.
Its a lot of fun, said Galloway-Kahn. I like the tree and hot chocolate and its a great way for the town to connect with each other.
Malpica nodded in agreement. I like seeing all the town people together and everybody talking, she said.
The caroling worked. Santa arrived a few moments later via fire truck and bellowed his trademark, Ho! Ho! Ho! He hopped down from the truck and was instantly mobbed by the kids who were each rewarded with a candy cane. When he was finished, he helped the crowd count down to the lighting of the tree.
Walsh said that kids use the event to make play dates with each other, but noted that it also provides a shot in the arm to businesses in Scotts Corners.
It brings everyone into town and some of them go to the businesses, she said. Some might go down to Pinocchios for pizza afterward.
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