Let there be light: Weather doesn’t dim tree lighting and holiday stroll

Plainville’s Brittany Gutierrez, center, gets ready to flip the switch at the Plainville tree lighting last Friday. Her friend, Natalie Melendez , left, lent her support. (Photo by Janelle Morelli)



The Plainville Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Merchants Association hosted the 27th annual Plainville tree lighting and holiday stroll on Friday, Dec. 13, at the Plainville Fire Department at 77 W Main St., where the festivities were moved inside due to weather.

In keeping with tradition, one lucky student from Plainville Community Schools was selected to flip the switch which would light the tree and call for the arrival of Santa Claus. Brittany Gutierrez, a Wheeler Elementary School first grader, said she was happy to find out that she was selected and that she was excited to meet Santa. Her mother, Alma Gutierrez, said she was excited that her daughter was chosen for the opportunity.

Superintendent of Schools Steven LePage shared sentiments from Brittany’s teacher, Julie Stringer.

Brittany Gutierrez, above, turns on the holiday lights.

“Brittany is a student who brings joy to everyone who knows her,” said Stringer. “She is an incredible, hardworking first grader who has made tremendous strides in her reading through hard work and practice, but her creative spirit shines through in her writing, in her artistic abilities. The sky is the limit for this outstanding, outgoing, ambitious and brave girl.”

“Hey Santa,” Brittany called as she flipped the ceremonial switch, lighting up the Plainville downtown, and shortly thereafter, those gathered could hear the fire truck sirens and see the flashing lights as Santa made his entrance.

Before Father Raymond Smialowski of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church read the invocation, residents were able to take part in Christmas caroling.

The caroling was made possible by the Middle School of Plainville students who created and decorated song books that included favorites such as “Deck the Halls,” “Jingle Bells,” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

Town representatives were on site to wish residents a happy holiday and to share a few important messages. Plainville Fire Chief, Kevin Toner, and Plainville Police Lt. Eric Peterson reminded residents to exercise caution during holiday celebrations. A stray candle could lead to catastrophe, and drinking and driving is never a safe option, he said.

State Rep. William Petit (R) asked all of the children to remember to be kind, and to try to do one kind thing for each of their family members.

“I bring you greetings of the season from all of my members on the town council, they wish you Merry Christmas and greetings of the holiday season,” said Kathy Pugliese, town council chairwoman, who thanked the members of the fire department, police department, and the buildings and grounds department for taking part in the event, decorating the town, and keeping the roads cleared of snow and ice.

“On behalf of the town employees I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a prosperous new year,” said Town Manager Robert Lee. “Thank you to the Chamber of Commerce and the Merchants Association for putting this together as we get closer to Christmas, and I hope everyone has a good evening.”

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@PlainvilleObserver.com.