Photography by Alison Borrelli
By Lise Elcock
This December the Newton-Needham Regional Chamber becomes the keeper of the long-time town tradition of lighting up the Needham’s Town Common -- including the beloved Blue Tree -- throughout the holiday season.
The 64-year-long town tradition of the lighting of the Blue Tree will take place on the Town Common on Dec. 1 at 5 p.m., preceded by a ceremony which will include performances and caroling, hot chocolate and of course, a countdown. Following the tree lighting, Santa Claus will greet the children on the steps of Town Hall.
Needham’s signature holiday tradition is designed to bring locals and residents from surrounding towns to Needham Center to experience the holiday ambiance while shopping and dining locally.
Julie Loncich of WCVB Channel 5, an Emmy award winner for feature reporting, will serve as this year's emcee for the ceremony. Loncich returned to WCVB in November of 2016 as a general assignment reporter. She grew up on Cape Cod and now lives in Boston.
And we need your help to light up Needham Center. Needham Bank has already stepped up as a major sponsor but as in previous years, Louise Condon Realty, with the help of the chamber, is reaching out to the Needham community for donations to cover the multi-pronged expenses and labor required to light the Town Common throughout the month of December.
To donate, go to discoverneedham.com or mail a check to: Newton-Needham Regional Chamber, 281 Needham St. Newton, MA 02464, attn: Blue Tree.
Needham Lights Entertainment Schedule
Festivities on Dec 1 start at 2 p.m. inside Needham Town Hall. Powers Hall will offer music, dance and special performances on stage right up until the tree lighting ceremony. There’ll also be holiday crafts for kids, balloon artists, face painting and refreshments. Participating businesses will also be offering specials from 10-5 p.m.
2:00-2:15 Jam Sandwich (and also during changeovers)
2:15-3:00 Kilted Colin
3:05-3:20 Counterpoint NHS a cappella
3:30-3:50 Irish Step Dancers
3:55-4:10 Rhythmic Dancers
5:00-5:45Blue Tree Lighting, sponsored by Needham Bank
5:45 Santa’s Visit