It was a cold night, but the 200 Miltonians that gathered for the Milton Independent’s 6th Annual Community Tree Lighting on Saturday made it a bit warmer with their Christmas cheer.

The shelter provided by our new venue at the Milton municipal building was key for members of the Milton Community Band, whose tunes would have otherwise been stymied by the night’s below-freezing temperatures. Our trusty sound engineer, Cub Scout Pack 43 assistant cubmaster Bob Rayl, even hooked up a mic to stream the indoor concert outside through a speaker next to our tree.

While they waited, our guests took cups of cocoa from Milton’s own Hillside Creamery and sugar cookies from Madeleine’s Bakery, dished out by our helpful elves from Milton Recreation. Kids buttoned up in snowsuits made use of what snow was on ground and lined up to meet Santa, who came straight from the North Pole.


At 6:45 p.m., eyes were aglow when the S.D. Ireland cement mixer, decorated with hundreds of white lights, came into view. The driver spun the barrel, creating a whir of color and feeling of wonderment befitting the holiday season.

As 7 p.m. neared, the crowd drew in closer. When we flipped the switch, all our hard work was on display in strands of color. Our avant garde tree, decorated with both net-style and string lights, is a unique one, but that makes it all the more special.

Our event wouldn’t be possible without the help of town manager Don Turner Jr.; his father, Don Sr., who arranged a lift rental to string lights; Milton Rental, which donated the lift; our decorating committee: Chris Mattos, Don Radtke and Milton police officers Ed Larente and Matthew McQueen; and especially Justin Bergeron, the tree lighting MVP who helped stretch our lights as far as they could go. We also thank Cornerstone Community Church for providing overflow parking and Karlo Salminen for leading our carols.

Merry Christmas, Milton!