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Tree lighting brings Rotterdam families out

More than 150 people attended Rotterdam's annual Christmas tree lighting outside Town Hall on Monday, Dec. 10.

During this time of year, this time of giving, please bear in mind what Christmas is really all about spending time with family," said Deputy Supervisor Joseph M. Signore to the many families in the crowd. "And, remember, there are always some people we should keep in mind. We should also think of the less fortunate."

Council Member Diane Marco, who will leave office at the end of the year, was given the honor of flipping the switch to light the tree, which was strung with multi-colored bulbs and is displayed in front of town hall on Sunrise Boulevard.

"It's a great event that we do each year for the residents," said Marco. "And it's been going on as long as I can remember."

The Draper Middle School Choir, directed by Nicole Gabriel, provided entertainment at the event, leading a sing-a-long of seasonal favorites such as "The Dreidel Song," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," and "Frosty the Snowman."

While the ground was frosty after a morning ice storm, Rotterdam residents will have to wait a while longer before they can make their own snowman. Temperatures were in the 30s for the event, comparatively moderate for the time of year.

"We're lucky it's not terribly cold," said Gabriel, who had many of her students bundled up in ski jackets and Santa hats.

For those in the crowd in need of an instant body temperature boost, the town provided refreshments, including cookies and hot chocolate.

During the last verse of "Frosty the Snowman," Santa Claus himself arrived to the delight of the many small children in the crowd. He handed out candy canes and wished a Merry Christmas to all.

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