When it was the weekend after Thanksgiving, and the Milton Independent still didn’t have a tree for our 5th Annual Milton Community Tree Lighting, we were a little worried.
But once again, Miltonians came through in a true Christmas miracle.
This year’s tree lighting is set for Saturday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Hannaford plaza. And thanks to Milton developer and businessman Billy Sawyer, there will be a tree to light.
Sawyer said Don Turner – acting in his capacity not as town manager but as the Indy’s helper-extraordinaire for the annual lighting – approached him after seeing one of four shapely spruces at 448 Route 7, across from the Red Top apartments.
Sawyer didn’t mind, thinking the residents there might like a better view once the tree is gone.
“It’s in front of a house,” he said. “I’m sure they were planted there for a small tree, and 20 years later, they become a big tree. We had no intention of doing anything with them until Don mentioned it, and it sounded like a good idea.”
The Sawyers have long donated to local causes, and the tree lighting sounded just as good as any, he said.
The Indy crew, along with Turner’s father and uncle, will be out in force this Saturday to chop down the 25-footer and transport it to its rightful home at the plaza. The Pomerleaus have been ever-so-grateful to let us keep a plastic tube buried in the ground for our subterranean tree stand.
Do stop by and cheer us on if you see us out there. Even though the forecast says 40, it is Vermont after all, and chills can creep in unexpectedly.
Once it’s all strung with lights, we’ll keep our fingers crossed that the ornaments donated over the last five years will stay put until next weekend.
We invite the entire community out for a festive evening of caroling led by Karlo Salminen accompanied by members of the Milton Community Band, plus an appearance by the S.D. Ireland lighted cement mixer and, of course, a visit from the jolly elf himself and his assistants Kym Duchesneau and Ben Nappi from Milton Recreation.
We’ll have cocoa and cookies for all, but make sure you come on time: We flip the switch right at 7 p.m.
Sawyer hopes to attend this year to see his tree at the center of it all.
“There’s some Charlie Brown trees out there somewhere, but this absolutely looks like it was pruned for it,” he said.
We agree completely.
RSVP to the event at bit.ly/2j05Ul3, or just show up, and don’t forget an ornament to trim the boughs. See you there!