Tree-lighting tradition gets good turnout in Wiscasset

Posted:  Sunday, December 2, 2018 - 5:45pm

Wiscasset’s Chris Grosser married into going to the town’s annual tree-lighting. She wed Jeff Grosser 12 years ago, years after he began serving as emcee. He was at First Congregational Church of Wiscasset’s railing again Saturday night for this year’s, Santa hat on and microphone in hand.

His wife looks forward to the event. It kicks off the holiday season, she said, smiling in a crowd full of smiles as the Wiscasset school chorus sang out from the church steps above. Music teacher Carole Drury led the chorus as she does each year.

Event-goers filled the top half of the common after dark for the holiday songs, Santa’s arrival, the countdown to the lighting, then more music including “Silent Night,” and the walk en masse into the church for cookies, hot chocolate and conversation in the fellowship hall.

First-time attendees to Wiscasset’s tree-lighting, Alan and Ashley Robinson of Alna brought daughter Savannah, 3, and son Eben, 11, an Edgecomb Eddy School student. As their children checked out the tree’s colorful lights after the ceremony, Ashley said they all enjoyed the event. “It’s a nice mix of communities,” she added.

Until Saturday, Pakistan’s Muhammad Khalique, an exchange student at Wiscasset Middle High School this school year, had seen no holiday experience like it – people coming together to celebrate as a community, the 16-year-old said. At home, families gather on their own, he said.

He saw it twice Saturday. Hours earlier in the Wiscasset Community Center gym, he was helping WCC’s Kristy Lincoln of Wiscasset man the After School Adventures Program table at Parks and Recreation’s Holiday Market. He said both events were really fun. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said at the earlier one.

A bit of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens’ Gardens Aglow in Boothbay found its way to the tree-lighting Saturday, on the heads of Alice Giles, 2, and brother Dante George, 10, a Wiscasset Elementary School fifth grader. The two wore their new hats with flashing colored lights, he while singing in the chorus, she on the shoulders of her mother Holly Giles. They got the hats at this year’s Gardens Aglow, Holly said as the toddler continued looking up to the chorus.