MASSENA — It may have been a frigid Saturday night, but that didn’t stop a large crowd from enjoying the Massena Downtown Spirit of Christmas Tree Lighting.
“It was amazing. The crowd stretched all the way down to Simplicity Clothing,” Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Nathan Lashomb said. “It was a little cold, but thanks to a couple of donations of fire pits and gas heaters from BJ’s, we were able to brave the weather.”
With the chamber spearheading the effort, the event was put together by a group of volunteers called the Downtown Christmas Committee, which had been meeting since mid-summer to plan the festive fun.
Following opening remarks, caroling took the spotlight, with groups from Nightengale Elementary School, Massena Central High School, Trinity Catholic School and J.W. Leary Junior High School leading the singing.
Mayor Timmy J. Currier read “The Night Before Christmas,” followed by the lighting of an 18-foot Christmas tree in front of the Massena Town Hall.
The fun also included appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus, free horse-drawn carriage rides, hot chocolate, cookies, face painting, a bake sale and non-perishable dessert food drive. Businesses also got in on the fun, decorating their storefronts in festive holiday style.
In addition, the Massena Volunteer Fire Department displayed a ladder truck that, like the storefronts, was festively decorated. Fourth Coast Jeeps also showcased some Jeeps that were likewise decorated with holiday lights.
“They were nice enough to bring down a few Jeeps that they had all decorated,” Mr. Lashomb said. “They looked great.”
With this year’s event complete, he said they’ve already set their sights on 2020.
“We’ve already secured next year’s date — Dec. 5, 2020,” he said. “We’re trying to make sure we give people plenty of notice. We’re trying to keep the tradition of every first Saturday in December.”
Sometimes it might conflict with other events.
“It really is a challenge. We would love to work with other towns and organizations,” Mr. Lashomb said. “However, there are only so many Saturdays. The closer you get to the holidays, it conflicts with private parties and company holiday parties. We’re just going to do the best we can.”
This year’s event was sponsored by Massena Memorial Hospital, SeaComm, Massena Savings and Loan, Northern Credit Union, Massena Electric Department, Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce and the Police Activities League of Massena, formerly the Boys and Girls Club of Massena.