Story By Lisa Rice
Crowds of people gathered together on the grounds of the Old School Baptist Meeting House on Fri., Nov. 25 as the Warwick Fire Department held their annual Christmas tree lighting.
Warwick Valley High School choral members, past and present, performed a series of Christmas carols under the direction of Choral Director Noreen Hanson to kick off the event, while the Fire Department Auxiliary served up hot chocolate. First Assistant Chief Phil Cialella welcomed everyone and introduced Father Jack Arlotta, Pastor of St. Stephen’s Church, who offered words of prayer.
“It is my prayer, oh God, that the residents of Warwick will make a way for you in their hearts this season, so that your glory may be revealed to your people as we seek to love You and love our neighbors as ourselves,” said Fr. Arlotta
“I want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving,” said Warwick Village Mayor Michael Newhard. “I want to thank the Warwick Fire Department for everything they do for us. Not only do they protect us, but they make moments like this for us.”
He then reminded the crowd that Warwick has something for everyone this holiday season and to keep checking the newspapers for ongoing events. He highlighted an upcoming event, the Village 150th Anniversary celebration, which will include raising an apple for the kids early on New Year’s Eve and then gathering for the first apple drop at midnight. “Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday. This is a wonderful place to live,” he concluded.
Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton addressed the crowd next, saying: “I think we’re blessed to live in the beautiful, beautiful place that we have. People care about each other, help their neighbors, support each other and really make this just one very, very special place. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and have a wonderful healthy season. May God bless you all.”
Then came the moment everyone was waiting for; counting down from ten. The tree was finally lit and will remain on for the 2016 season. The choir began singing “Alleluia” and the children wasted no time rushing down the hill to the fire truck where Santa Claus himself was handing out candy.
The Warwick Fire Department Auxiliary will be holding the 12th Annual Holiday Shopping Spree on Sat., Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Raymond Hose Company #2, located at 200 West St. in Warwick. The event will feature over 20 vendors along with a community table benefiting the Warwick Valley Humane Society.