North Collins brings back traditional tree lighting

OBSERVER File Photo The town of North Collins will bring back its community tree lighting event on Dec. 8 for the first time in years. The village will host a gingerbread house event to make it all encompassing for goers.

NORTH COLLINS — The town of North Collins will bring back its community tree lighting event on this Friday, Dec. 8, from 7-8:30 p.m. with the village chipping in as well, by hosting events at the village hall from 4:30-6:30 p.m. that evening.

This will be the first tree lighting for North Collins in years as the goal is to give community members a reason to come out and spend time with their neighbors — despite the dropping temperature and wintry weather.

“We were talking with our elderly couples in town and they were talking about how we used to have a parade back in the day,” North Collins Town Clerk and Coordinator of the event Lynn DiVincenzo said. “They remember the parades and doing a tree lighting and this whole big extravaganza that used to be. Why can’t we start small and create something that will be big?”

DiVincenzo kindled the idea of having a tree lighting, and once it hit the ears of the activists in town (and the village), it spurred into a wild fire. In the short time, flyers were created, plans were created and it turned into a day-long event.

“We’re a small community and I want that feeling back,” DiVincenzo said. “… I want the kids in the community to have what I had when I was growing up.”

Starting at 4:30 p.m. and going to 6:30 p.m., the village hall, located at 10543 Route 62 in North Collins behind the fire department, will host Explore & More Children’s Museum, where kids can craft gingerbread houses and more, trustee and Village Coordinator Karen Denne said.

Registration is free, but required to have a headcount for how much is needed. Call the village at 337-3160 to sign up.

Having a free, festive event for families helps appease everyone’s holiday needs.

“We are a small community and we have a lot families that are needy in some way,” Denne added. “It’s basically for the children. They need it this time of year.”

A parade going from the high school and traveling down Main Street will start at 7 p.m. After getting to the town hall — at 10571 Route 62 in North Collins — the town will give free hot chocolate and cookies as well as the tree lighting.

Including the main tree, the North Collins Emergency Squad created a ‘In memory of’ tree, which will be lit up outside of town hall, and a winter donation tree, where area residents can donate scarves, mittens, what have you for those of need in the city of Buffalo. To participate in the ‘In memory of’ tree, contact Dee Moppert via email at; to give to the winter donation tree, you can go to the town hall when they are open.

The event turned from an idea to much more in a matter of days. Many villages and towns have their own situations that they must address, but the quick brainstorming for the event to benefit both the town and village of North Collins.

“In the past, there probably has been difficulties down the road as with any town or village, but our town and village are an extremely small area, at least the village is,” Denne said. “We work extremely well with our town board.”

DiVincenzo added that there was a list of people that helped create this event, which she wanted to name including: Crystal Cocca, Dee Moppert, Ellen Mathis, Alyson Laing, Terry Blidy, John Tobia, Vincent George and Jan Hutchinson.

Though the event has a parade and a tree lighting, it is not shunned to add to it. DiVincenzo added that anyone could dress their dog up and join in or their tractor.

“I would like to expand to floats like they do for homecoming and piggyback off of that and get the community involved,” DiVincenzo said. “Even decorate tractors or bring festive animals

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