MERIDEN – The Parks and Recreation Department hosted another Festival of Silver Lights party on Friday evening at Hubbard Park, with this event featuring ugly holiday sweaters.
Ugly tree sweaters were among the more popular choices. Another sweater read: “I’ve been good-ish all year.”
The festivities featured photos with Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman (who was wearing an ugly sweater), Christmas cookies and hot chocolate, holiday-themed face painting and Christmas music played by DJ and singer Vicki Rose.
The treats were provided by Thompson Chocolate on South Vine Street.
“Despite the cold, we’re happy to have people coming out to see the lights come on again,” Parks and Recreation Facilities Coordinator Pamela Fuschino said.
The weather was chilly, but Parks and Recreation employees were pleased with the turnout, after being slightly skeptical about the weather’s potential impact.
“Why wouldn’t you want to come out and see Santa Claus?” Fuschino said. “It’s a great way to keep the holiday spirit going.”
Children walked away with red noses and antlers painted on their faces, while some elected to have their noses turned into a snowman. Frosty and Santa roamed the crowd for pictures and Christmas gift requests. A chair was set up in the Hubbard Park parking lot for children to sit on Santa’s lap as well.
Employees were active in documenting the event, sharing photos and videos to the department’s new Instagram page, “Meriden Parks and Rec.”
The lights were turned on throughout the park shortly before 5 p.m., only this time instead of lighting all 120 animals and 130 aerial lights at once, the department elected to keep things fresh, and light the park one section at a time.
“We’re hoping for a really cool effect,” Fuschino said. “It’s nice to do something a little different from last time.”
With multiple other lighting specials scheduled before Christmas, the department is coming up with new plans and themes for future events in the park, starting with next Friday evening.
“I want it to be festive,” Parks and Recreation Coordinator Kathy Matula said. “Next Friday, we’ll have a new theme. We’re thinking of doing some kind of Winter Wonderland setup, but we’ll see.”
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