Annual Christmas tree lighting kicks off at the New Haven green

NEW HAVEN – The City of New Haven lit up the night with its holiday spirit on Thursday.

The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting was held on the New Haven Green.

Ever year, people from all over travel to New Haven just to watch the Christmas tree light up and this year, it is adorned with 30,000 lights.

Just minutes before the clock struck 7:30, everyone gathered around the tree anxiously waiting for the colorful lights to come on so they can take pictures.

There was a lot to do before the lighting began. There was a long line at the Ferris Wheel, groups of people rode around the back of a truck singing Christmas carols, a petting zoo for the kids and of course, Santa Claus himself.

A family of three said the event is the perfect way to get into the spirit of the holidays.

“Well, this is the first time I’m here but Chase and Jim have come down and they came down last year, so I wanted to see it. Thought it was a nice thing to do to get into the spirit,” said Debi Russell of Hamden.

“The rides, the people, just getting them out of the house in this cold weather,” said Jim Mesner of Hamden.

It is also not a first for siblings like Kalynn and Caleb McFarlin.

“It means I have a lot of fun and I’m thankful it’s God and Jesus’ birthday,” said Kalynn McFarlin of New Haven.

“I’m a fun kid. I like doing a lot of crazy stuff,” said Caleb McFarlin of New Haven.

To many like Jim Newson, Christmas is a time to reflect and relax.

“It means a time to be together and a time to exchange gifts and to be thankful for everything we have,” said Newson of Shelton.

The event lasted from 4-8 p.m.