With a blanket of snow on the ground, a large gathering of children and adults braved freezing weather at the Gorham Municipal Center Sunday to watch the Christmas tree lighting, sing Christmas carols and visit with Santa.

Vocalists from the Gorham High School Chamber singers, directed by Darrell Morrow, sang Christmas carols, opening up with “Joy to the World” at 4:30 p.m. Later, the gathering joined in a sing-along for “Jingle Bells” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

Alden Dimick, 1, applauded the chamber singers from his father’s shoulders. Alden Dimick was snug in a snowsuit and red mittens. His father, Scott Dimick, said he wanted a train set for Christmas.

In expectation of seeing old St. Nick, many of the children had their requests ready. Jillian Nichols, 3, was there with her dad, Curt Nichols.

“I want a doll,” she said with dad adding, “and a baby brother or sister.”

Spencer Ruda, 8, a third-grade student at the Village School, was at the tree lighting with his mother, Tammy Ruda. He knew what he wants. “Maybe a TV and bionicles,” he said, referring to the popular toy creatures made out of LEGOs.

Bundled up against the cold, the children, many arriving early with parents, didn’t seem to mind the frosty wait in the snow for Santa. Wade Gelinas, 5, was on hand with his mother, Shelby Gelinas.

“A remote control snowmobile, a four-wheeler and a real race car,” he recited, as topping his list for Santa.

The crowd saw Santa and Mrs. Clause ride in on a fire truck, driven by Scott Dunn. After the Clauses arrived, 1,900 bulbs lit up a living evergreen tree on the lawn.

Some children stood in line for an hour, waiting to see Santa and Mrs. Claus. Andrew Fickett, 9, a fourth-grader at Village School, said he wants a laptop computer for Christmas. He’s the son of Gorham Deputy Fire Chief Ken Fickett.

Santa handed each child a candy cane from his red velvet bag. The Recreation Department provided hot chocolate for kids, coffee for adults and 350 doughnut holes.

Gorham Recreation Director Cindy Hazelton was pleased the weather cooperated for this year’s tree lighting. Only 30 people showed up last year because of rain.

“These people are new families, which is great,” said Hazelton as she scanned the line to see Santa.

Hazelton along with Recreation Department helpers Cindy Spaulding and Tina West used a ladder and what Spaulding described as a “nifty lift” to string the 19 strands of lights on the tree. It was a two-day effort to decorate the tree, which requires two additional strands each year because of the tree’s growth.

Bob Lieberum’s bucket truck came in handy to help reach spots on the tree that otherwise would have been void of lights. Bryan Leone served as the electrician “hooking us up,” Hazelton said.

Planning for the event began in the summer. “We had this laid out in July,” Hazelton said.

Parents and children wait to see Santa on Sunday at Central Fire Station in Gorham.(tree lighting 1) – Alden Dimick, 1 1/2, sitting on the shoulders of his dad, Scott Dimick, applauds the Gorham High School Chamber Singers at the tree lighting ceremony on Sunday in Gorham.(Gorham Santa 2) – Julia Gaudette, 8, visits Santa and Mrs. Claus.Andrew Fickett, 9, visits Santa.Kids and parents wait for the door to open so they can visit Santa at Central Fire Station in Gorham on Sunday.


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