There were cookies, singing, hot cocoa and lots of happy Cranston residents enjoying the first sounds of the holiday season, all waiting for the arrival of the “big guy” himself, Santa.
For the past three years, Ward 5 Councilman, Chris Paplauskas
Along with his elves have decorated the gazebo in the heart of Knightsville.
“Knightsville is a great neighborhood rooted in tradition, having this tree lighting brings everyone together to celebrate the holidays and spread joy throughout our great City. Seeing the smiles on all the children’s faces when the lights are lit and Santa arrives makes all the hard work that goes into the event worthwhile. I would really like to thank all the volunteers and vendors in the neighborhood that helped as well. A special thank you to the BASICS+ Holiday Glee Club and the St. Mary’s School choir. The kids always add that ‘special magic’ to a Christmas program,” he said.
Christopher Edward Buonano served as MC for the evening, keeping everyone entertained with holiday music before the program began.
Father William Ledoux and (retired) Deacon Ceprano from St. Mary’s Church offered a brief blessing.
‘We gather together as a community, bless this crowd, bless the cookies and bless our good intentions,” they said.
Mayor Allan Fung gave brief remarks about the tradition of the tree lighting.
“I am so happy to be here as we celebrate this new tradition. It is a wonderful night for all of us to come together for one common cause – the children of our city. We are a great city, and they are the reasons we do what we do,” he said.
The first group of entertainers was the BASICS+ Holiday Glee Club, which is made up of students from 15 Cranston elementary schools. Following them was the St. Mary’s School Chorus also provided holiday tunes.
As the sound of fire engines grew closer, the crowd realized Santa was on his way. He arrived in style on a bright shiny red fire truck.
“Knightsville is in the heart of Cranston. Tonight, our hearts beat strong,” said Paplauskas.