Santa Claus rode into Babylon Town on cue Friday evening, as hundreds of local residents gathered in front of Babylon to usher in the holiday season with the annual tree lighting ceremony.
With Town Supervisor - and Suffolk County Executive-Elect - Steve Bellone officiating, the town got things cooking with an evening of carol-singing, marching band music and other festivities for kids of all ages.
The evening kicked off with choral music from Twin Shores Chorus. Holiday songs included Jingle Bells, Silent Night and Jingle Bell Rock, plus a special 50s-era doo-wop number.
The Robert Moses Middle School Marching Band paraded into the grounds next, followed by Bellone and a throng of public officials, who took the podium with their families.
Among those joining Bellone were NYS Assemblyman Philip Boyle, SC Legislator (14th District) Wayne Horseley, SC Legislator-elect (15th-District) DuWayne Gregory, Town Councilmen Lindsay Henry and Tony Martinez, Councilman-Elect Tom Donnelly, Town Clerk Carol Quirk and Corinne DiSomma, town receiver of taxes.
Also joining the officials on stage was Mark Cuthbertson, a long-time town councilman in the Town of Huntington.
With enough hot chocolate and Christmas carols to warm up the crowd, it was time for the to escort Santa onto the scene.
Old Saint Nick arrived with a flourish, took his place beside Frosty the Snowman and one of his special reindeer, and the entire assemblage counted down, "10, nine, eight....one!," in anticipation of the moment when kids of all ages - with the help of town officials - dropped the plunger to light the tree.
It was a moment to remember as Babylon Town's tree - situated prominently in front of town hall beside a creche and a menorah, and festooned in blue twinkling lights - lit up the December night.
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