Saturday, November 26, 2011
Holiday Season Arrives On Main Street
The Woodrow Wilson 7th and 8th grade choirs kept a growing crowd entertained as they waited for the major event on the South Green. When Santa Claus arrived on a horse-drawn wagon with newly-minted mayor Dan Drew, radio host Don DeCesare announced the pair to great fanfare. After awarding citizenship awards to a group of Middletown third graders, the mayor led countdowns to light the Middlesex Hospital’s Hospice & Palliative Care Program Tree of Lights in the gazebo, and then another countdown for the large tree on the green. Drew assured the crowd that several more trees would be lit over the next few weeks. Those lights had not been mounted, according to Drew, because crews had been busy with the post-Halloween blizzard cleanup.
The crowd then followed the Middletown High School marching band down Main Street in a holiday parade which stopped at the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce for yet another tree lighting. Children lined up for free photos with Santa.
After a dinner break, a crowd assembled once again outside of Eli Cannon's on Main Street for the lighting of that tree, and the opening of a new business across from the popular pub. With a wave of his "magic candycane" Santa lit the new business, and then after a snowstorm of potato flakes, he pointed his striped implement at Eli Cannon's and lit the fourth tree of the night.
After the tree lighting, Mayor Dan Drew, Middlesex Chamber President Larry McHugh and Santa himself cut the ribbon on the brand new Eli Cannon's Trading Company and the doors were swung open for children and parents to tour the new retail outlet (featuring t-shirts, hot sauce, artwork, brewing supplies), and meet Santa and his attractive helpers. Each child left the new store with a gift courtesy of Eli Cannon's owners.
Cannon's owner Phil Oulette said that his crews had worked night and day to be sure the business would be open for the event. A sister business, the NORA (North of Rapallo) Cupcake Company will open next door on New Year's Eve to coincide with the Middnight On Main celebration.