Raymond kicked off the 2016 Christmas season Sunday with its 18th annual tree lighting ceremony at Raymond Public Library. The event was sponsored by the Raymond Lions Club. Spokesman Robert Fey was quick to point out they had a lot of help.
“It’s a small hometown affair, but a very significant one that happens in this community every year.” He said help and participation came from many segments of the community. The tree is donated each year by Bob Paine, who runs a Christmas tree farm on Raymond Hill Road; a volunteer drove a Central Maine Power bucket truck to deliver, install and string lights on the tree; the Raymond Elementary School Chorus under the direction of Patti Gordan performed songs of the season; the Raymond Public Library trustees and staff hosted the event, including the reading of favorite children’s stories prior to the lighting ceremony; and Santa arrived aboard a Raymond fire truck.
“Ho, Ho, Ho! Oh my, we have quite a turnout here tonight, don’t we,” bellowed Santa as the first of many young revelers climbed onto his knee. Ayla Harris, 6, of Naples told the merry, plump man she was hoping for “a stuffed animal unicorn” for Christmas.
The early evening event was topped off with hot chocolate and cookies for all.