TURNER — This year’s annual town tree lighting is bigger, better and later.

Town Manager Scott LaFlamme said that for years the traditional lighting and visit from Santa has been held at 5 p.m., bumping up against the regular selectmen meeting and bringing the evening to an early end.

This year, selectmen moved their meeting to Tuesday, leaving Monday, Dec. 2, free and clear.

The event gets underway at 6 p.m. It starts with the big man arriving by firetruck at the Town Office, then, with the help of area children, lighting the 50-foot spruce tree in front of the Town Office with the “Christmas spirit.”

LaFlamme said Community Credit Union, which is building a branch on Route 4 next year, approached the town about offering activities and refreshments at the lighting, and other businesses have gotten involved from there. He’s anticipating Food City, Ricker Hill Orchard and Hannaford turning out with hot chocolate, food, donations or activities.

“We’ve gotten a huge response,” he said. “It sort of by accident has turned into a big event for us.”


Other businesses are still welcome to join in, LaFlamme said.

After the lighting, Santa will sit in a big Adirondack chair outdoors and children will have a chance to share their wish lists.

Inside, for the first time, the Turner Public Library and Mrs. Claus will do a reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

The event drew 200 children and their parents last year.

“This is going to be the biggest and best one yet,” LaFlamme said. “We just see so many people come and enjoy themselves.”

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