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Menino returns to lead tree lighting in his own neighborhood, Readville

Posted by Jeremy C. Fox  December 5, 2011 02:52 PM

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(Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com)

Eager youngsters anticipated the arrival of Santa Claus.

After two years when ill health prevented him from participating in his annual round of Christmas tree lightings in Boston’s neighborhoods, Mayor Thomas M. Menino returned to his traditional role on Friday, and one of his first stops was his home neighborhood.

More than 100 residents gathered in Readville’s Wolcott Square for the tree lighting, snacking on pastries donated by the local Dunkin Donuts and coffee-cake makers My Grandma's of New England. The Macy’s Enchanted Trolley arrived around 6:30 p.m., carrying the Commonwealth Brass Quartet; three young actors costumed as a Christmas tree, a toy soldier, and a ragdoll; Menino; and the biggest star of the night, Santa Claus.

“Thank you for being here, from my family to yours, a merry Christmas and a happy New Year,” Menino told the crowd, just before introducing Santa Claus to help count down to the lighting of the tree.

When they reached “one,” the lights sprang to life and a confetti cannon showered the crowd.

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(Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com)
The Wolcott Square Christmas tree.
Also in attendance were state Representative Angelo M. Scaccia, City Councilor Robert Consalvo, and City Council President Stephen J. Murphy, all Hyde Park residents. Consalvo said that as a father of three young children, the event was an important one for his whole family.

“They so look forward to this,” he said. “Last week’s Anderson tree lighting culminating with tonight’s Macy’s Trolley Tour is the official kickoff of Christmas in the Consalvo house. I think it’s just great for young families but also great for the neighborhood. It’s community building. It’s about the spirit of the holidays and about the spirit of the great neighborhoods. ”

Murphy agreed that the annual event was an opportunity to gather with neighbors and kick off the Christmas season, but also to encourage residents to shop locally and support Boston’s small businesses and commercial districts.

“The thing is that if they’re spending their money locally, 65 cents of every dollar goes right back into the neighborhood where they spend the money,” Murphy said. “You got to a mall somewhere else, it might be going to Akron, Ohio, or someplace. It’s always good. The healthier our business districts are, the healthier our neighborhoods are.”

Email Jeremy C. Fox at jeremycfox@gmail.com.
Follow Jeremy C. Fox on Twitter: @jeremycfox.
Follow Hyde Park on Twitter: @HydeParkInfo.

HP lighting Menino.jpg

(Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com)

Santa Claus waved at the crowd as Mayor Thomas M. Menino flipped the switch to light the tree in Hyde Park’s Wolcott Square.

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