Colchester hosts 'Holiday Homecoming' on Town Green

By Merja H. Lehtinen - ReminderNews
Colchester - posted Tue., Dec. 10, 2013
A donkey named Caramel was giving rides during the Holiday Homecoming on the Colchester Town Green. Photos by Merja H. Lehtinen.
A donkey named Caramel was giving rides during the Holiday Homecoming on the Colchester Town Green. Photos by Merja H. Lehtinen.

Colchester looked like a Norman Rockwell painting on Saturday, Dec. 7, when several hundred local residents and guests gathered to sing carols, light the tree, meet Santa, and share hot coffee and cider by the bonfire on the Town Green. Later, a large crowd listened to a holiday concert by the Colchester Civic Orchestra and Chorus at the Federated Church.

The old Hayward firehouse was all decked out and lit up with Christmas lights, and candles in each of the windows of the old Bacon Academy beckoned visitors. The church was all lit up as the concert was about to begin. Friends old and new wished each other a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and good tidings for the new year ahead.

The evening was bittersweet for Fred Brown as he loaded wood onto the bonfire; he reminded those around him that in a few short weeks, he and others would be sleeping in a tent on the green to raise awareness and funds for the fuel and food banks in town. Brown has managed the bonfire for the Holiday Homecoming for each of the last nine years, except the one year he donated a kidney so someone else could have the gift of life. He said the true meaning of Christmas and Hanukkah is when people remember and celebrate good will.

For the children, troubles seemed "far away" as they waited for Santa and sang carols. The children's choir of St. Andrews drew crowds of proud parents watching their children wearing Santa's helpers' red caps. Robert Neudecker was bundled up listening to his two daughters, Cassie and Catie, who were singing as part of the chorus.

Artist Robert Ferrucci, of Woodbury, drew a crowd as he created an ice sculpture of Santa Claus right in front of everyone.

Suddenly it was 5 p.m. and First Selectman Gregg Schuster started the countdown to light the tree. It drew a gasp as the beauty of the tall evergreen -with blue, red, and gold lights - sparkled in the night.


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