Newport was rife with tree lightings last week, including Bowen's Wharf 40th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. Hundreds of people bundled up and made their way to the wharf Saturday evening to visit with Christmas characters and see the tree light up with thousands of twinkling lights.
The festivities began at 4:30 p.m. with Frosty the Snowman greeting children and adults alike. A carol sing-along started half an hour later, with the crowd belting out classics such as "Deck the Halls" and "Jingle Bells."
The countdown to the tree lighting started at 6 p.m. People lined up and down the wharf, all vying for the best view. The yellow lights of the tree clicked on right on cue, including the big star on top.
Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived from the North Pole to listen to children's wish lists. The line wrapped down to 22 Bowen's Wine Bar & Grille, but parents and their children withstood the cold to meet the Clauses.
Following the tree lighting, many people stood mingling and the local shops on Bowen's Wharf werebustling with customers.
Chace N' Lulu owner Nell Soper said sales were up that night due to the large crowd at the tree lighting.
Last week marked the official start of Christmas in Newport's month-long celebration with a tree lighting in Washington Square. The International Tennis Hall of Fame joined in with some holiday spirit Sunday night with carolers from the Cluny School serenading the crowd before turning on their light display.
The next Christmas in Newport tree lighting is scheduled for Friday Dec. 10. The 30th Annual Newport Yachting Center Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held at the Sovereign Bank Family Skating Center at 5:30. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be back for a night of music, ice skating, carols and refreshments. It is a free event. For more information contact (401)-846-1600 or visit www.skatenewport.com.
Christmas in Newport puts on over 75 events during the month of December. For a full list of events please visit www.christmasinnewport.org. Some events require reservations, so plan ahead!