Tree Lighting Begins Christmas in Newport
Despite the weather, dozens of Newporters turned out for the annual tree lighting that begins the Christmas in Newport celebration.
Christmas in Newport has officially begun. The opening ceremonies and lighting barely beat out torrential rain Wednesday night to kick off the month-long celebration. Christmas in Newport celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
Moments after the evergreen tree in Washington Square clicked on with its yellow strands of glowing lights the skies opened up, forcing spectators to hurry to their cars instead of lingering to take pictures and ogle the giant tree. Wednesday's inclement weather forecast forced the opening ceremonies indoors to the Old Colony House next door.
During the opening ceremonies, Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano officially declared December Christmas in Newport Month. She took a moment to reflect on the memory of Ruth Myers, founder of Christmas in Newport. Earlier in November, Newport honored Myers by dedicating a bench in her name in Washington Square. The bench sits a few yards away from the tree that symbolizes Christmas in Newport and her memory.
Kathy MacKnight, president of Christmas in Newport, also shared some words with the crowd inside the hall of the Old Colony House about how special the celebration was and the importance of its legacy in Newport. She also encouraged the community to use the newly created Facebook page for Christmas in Newport to keep up with the month's events.
After the opening ceremony, the crowd made its way across the street to watch the tree lighting. To the delight, and fright, of some children, the three Artillery Company of Newport members, dressed in traditional uniforms, fired a shot in time with lighting. Napolitano gathered the children in the crowd and stood with them up front to watch the lights turn on.
Christmas in Newport features over 75 events throughout the month of December. Visit www.christmasinnewport.org or call 401-849-6454 for more information.