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Pasadena Tree Lighting Ceremony Draws Hundreds

Dylan Roche
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December 11, 2012

Community Gathers For Third-Annual Event

By Hayley Gable Bowerman

Forty-five minutes prior to the event’s start time, they started arriving in droves.

Gleeful children holding their parents’ hands, mothers pushing their curious toddlers in strollers, dads hoisting their small daughters atop their shoulders, and even teenagers and adults without children all gathered around the 18-foot Frasier fir located just inside Lake Shore Plaza.

The scene was comparable to one you’d see in an old-fashioned Christmas movie – carolers peacefully serenading the crowd, friends greeting friends, local restaurant employees freely passing around hot cocoa and cookies, kids decked out in jingle bells and Santa hats, vintage fire trucks decorated in antique Christmas lights, gift-givers cheerily placing their charitable items underneath the tree. This was the magical – and real – scene that took place the evening of December 4 at the Pasadena Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

By 7:30pm, the anticipated time of Santa Claus’ arrival in Pasadena, a wide-eyed crowd of approximately 500 local residents had congregated as they eagerly awaited the count-down to the lighting of the monstrous tree.

Then, the voice of emcee Mike Jacobs boomed through the speakers. “Hey Pasadena, are you ready to light this tree?” he asked excitedly.

After a countdown from 10, the tree was illuminated in all its glory, the crowd erupted in cheers, and before the excitement from the town tannenbaum could pass, Saint Nicolas himself came into sight while a jolly rendition of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” played in the background.

“This is a true community event. It’s really all about coming together during the Christmas season and just celebrating being neighbors and living in Pasadena,” said Jacobs, one of the event organizers.

Adding to the true community theme of the night were the businesses that stepped forward to volunteer their services. The tree itself, which stands directly between Arundel Federal Savings Bank and Friendly’s, was donated entirely by Pasadena-based heating and cooling business GreenDena.

Professional photos of children with Santa were provided by Mojo Web Solutions, and nearby restaurants Two Rivers and The Greene Turtle came together to hand out complimentary hot chocolate and cookies. Chesapeake and Northeast high schools’ vocal ensembles volunteered to sing Christmas melodies, and Lake Shore and Riviera Beach Volunteer Fire Companies also came together to display some of their apparatus.

And, even though the temperature of the night was unusually mild, Dillon’s Bus Service provided automobiles for those who wished to keep warm. For those standing outside who were already warm, a snowball stand was set up by committee member and owner of The Ice Shack Dave Rosage.

“A few years ago, I was trying to actually make fake snow for this event to make it look wintery. This year, I just decided to go with the warm weather and give out snowballs. Everyone seemed to love the idea,” said Rosage.

Other businesses and organizations that pitched in to help this year included Ace Hardware, Arundel Federal Savings Bank, GableSigns, Maher’s Florist, Welcome to Neverland, Pasadena Engraving, Starboard Signs & Graphics, Bay Country Rentals, The Ice Shack, DJ James McCartin and the Anne Arundel County Police Department.

Also on hand at the gathering were limited edition, collectable 2012 Pasadena Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony official ornaments, on sale for $5 each. Funds raised from the ornament sale went to the Pasadena Business Association’s A Child’s Christmas gift drive. Currently, there are limited quantities of the collectable ornament still available at Ace Hardware of Lake Shore and Maher’s Florist.

For those interested in seeing the Pasadena town Christmas tree, Lake Shore Plaza will have it illuminated from 5:00-10:00pm each night. On Christmas Eve, the tree will be lit up all night long.

Merry Christmas Pasadena!

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