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T’was Saturday, Dec. 10 just before 2 p.m., when Townsend’s Ladder Truck 1 saw Santa stranded at Harbor Village Mall. Being the good Samartians our Fire Department personnel are, they offered Santa a ride. Along the 119 Route, they spotted Mrs. Claus, crying and shaking as she missed Santa so. The ladder truck pulled into the Center Mall and reunited Santa and his Mrs. Both rode happily around Townsend’s Common to visit with Townsend children and attend the Townsend Business Association’s Annual Lighting of the Town Common.

At 4:30 p.m., President Maureen Denig introduced the winners of the essay contest and each read their essay to the remaining onlookers.

The third place winner was Lyric Boyd Kingsley, a second-grader at Spaulding Memorial School. The second place winner was Emma Bousquet, second-grader at Spaulding Memorial School and the first place winner of the contest was Ciara Kay, third-grader at Squanicook Elementary School. Kay, after Maureen Denig lead the countdown, flipped our third annual switch, lighting the entire Town Common and Christmas tree in the gazebo.

T.B.A. wishes to thank the Townsend Fire Department, Townsend Highway, Townsend Parks and Superintendent Jimmy Tumber, along with all the personnel for their cooperation in helping to make this event happen.

As always, each of our directors played a part in the event: Maureen Denig, Travel Now, Inc; Kathleen Ballos, Ballos Associates; Laura Shifrin, Townsend Center Realty, Inc.; Calvin Robbins, C.S., Robbins Maintenance; Daniel Haney, Dan Haney Electrical; Danny Macklin. Harborside Remodeling; Michelle Goodwin, Michelle Goodwin’s School of Dance; Kim Watson, Montachusett Pest Control; Deb Buxton, Workers Credit Union; and Michelle Hills of Sovereign Bank.

For many years, TBA has paid for the Town Common’s lights during the holiday season. As of last year, the TBA paid for the lighting of the Town Common all year. Since October of 2005, the business community has pledged to sponsor the lights. The sponsors are: For October and November, CS Robbins; December, Moore Enterprises; January, Travel Now, Inc; February, Hobart Village Antique Mall; March, Ballos Associates; April, Townsend Center Realty; May, The Trilogy; June and July, The Ice Cream Factory; August, Montachusett Pest Control; and September, Michelle Goodwin’s School of Dance.

Each year, the Town Common lighting gets better and better. For years now, TBA has provided not only all Christmas tree lights, but the pole trimmings as well.

Among those who have donated their time and effort are: John Forest of Forest Appliance; The Shepherd Brothers of Shepherds; Shepco & Harbor Demolition; Ed Snapp, Treasured Memories; and in the last two years, Dan Haney of Dan Haney Electrical and Cal Robbins of C.S. Robbins Maintenance. A special thank you to them for their time and effort.

The most recent addition to the event was the red, white and blue pole lights located next to the Civil War Monument as a tribute to our fellow Americans who are currently serving this country to preserve our freedom.

TBA also provides and hangs the lights for the Gustafson tree, which is lit by the TEO at their annual Hobo Stew event.