A small but appreciative crowd gathered at Memorial Plaza Thursday to watch the annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony, sponsored by the New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce.
The Songcatchers added musical punctuation to the event with traditional holiday songs before the Christmas tree, menorah and creche were lit up.
Mayor Noam Bramson spoke before the lighting, saying that he loved the occasion of the event.
"It is an opportunity for us to reflect on the richness of our individual traditions whether we celebrate Christmas or Hannukah or any other form of observance," he said. "But we also have a chance to remind ourselves of all the things that we have in common: That we all love our children and our grandchildren, that we all look hopefully to the future, that we all try to obey the golden rule and that we all care very much about each other in the community that we share.
"And so in that spirit I wish you every joy for the season and may we all have a happy and healthy and wonderful new year," Bramson said.
After the lighting ceremony, Santa Claus—whose appearance was arranged by New Rochelle resident James O'Toole—arrived via a New Rochelle Fire Department ladder truck, to the delight of the many children in the crowd and a few festive adults.
The free event was sponsored by the New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce, the New Rochelle Downtown Business Improvement District and the City of New Rochelle.