Last Saturday night, in spite of the unfavorable weather, people came out to see the Tree Lighting in Press Plaza and got a first-hand glimpse of Christmas magic.
Asbury Park has several Christmas Tree Lightings: The tree in Convention Hall’s Grand Arcade on the boardwalk, the tree in Fireman’s Park on Main Street near the old Train Station, the tree at Press Plaza in the heart of the downtown, and the tree in Springwood Park on Springwood Avenue, which will have a Tree Lighting Celebration this coming Saturday, Dec 8th at 5:00 pm.
Each one is different and special in its own way. For the downtown tree lighting, sponsored by the Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce, Santa Claus makes a grand entrance on a fire truck and magically lights the tree, assisted by the Asbury Park Fire Department.
While people are waiting for Santa’s arrival, there’s a festive celebration with refreshments of hot cocoa and cookies, and carolers from the Premier Theater Company sing Christmas songs.
You know Santa is on his way when you hear the sirens blowing and see the flashing lights of the fire trucks as they roll down Cookman Ave.
When Santa arrives, he is raised up on the aerial ladder in order to reach the very top of the tree. Once there, the crowd does a 10-second countdown, then Santa sprinkles fairy dust onto the tree, and the tree magically lights!
It’s one my favorite tree lightings in the city. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing the flashing lights of a fire truck with Santa in tow. It brings back memories from yesteryear and sparks that childhood wonder of Christmas.
Watch the 10 second count down!
Happy Holidays everyone!