Watertown residents, business owners and city officials will gather 'round a Christmas tree tonight at 6:30 p.m. in Watertown Square for the city's first-ever holiday tree lighting ceremony.
"We light the trees in the Delta every year, but we have not had specific holiday tree or had a ceremony," said Brenda Fanara, executive director of the Watertown-Belmont Chamber of Commerce, who helped organize the event. "All the other cities and towns do it."
Fanara said that local businesses have jumped on board to help: Russo's Market donated the tree; Home Depot decorated it; Dunkin' Donuts will provide coffee, hot chocolate and snacks; and Watertown Savings Bank is helping to pay for other incidentals.
"People want to be a part of it," Fanara said. "Next year, we’ll reach out to even more businesses."
Fanara said there will be Christmas play readings from the New Repertory Theatre, carolers will sing holiday songs, and Santa will arrive on a red fire engine and pose later with children for family photographs.
"We’re trying to make the event for the community, for the kids," Fanara said. "And it sounds like we do have a crowd coming tonight."
If the event draws enough people, Fanara said she thinks the town will make the tree lighting annual.
"If it goes over big and people are receptive, this will be the first of every year to come," she said.
For more information, visit the Chamber of Commerce's event website.
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org