The city could have used some of that recently fallen snow found in the hills of northern Chautauqua County to complete the Christmas mood Wednesday night.
City officials and residents gathered outside in some frigid temperatures to "flick the switch" and display this year's holiday decoration outside city hall.
You may have noticed the different assembly of lights outside city hall during the day and that's because this year's setup will feature lights that play to music that can be found on 100.1 FM.
OBSERVER Photo By Michael Rukavina
Piper Powell of Amherst, visiting her grandmother who lives in Dunkirk, paid a quick visit to Santa at city hall Wednesday evening.
"Tim Peterson of Willowbrook Avenue is the one who masterminded it and a lot of the decorations you see here are similar to what he had last year, choreographed to the music. It's just phenomenal," City of Dunkirk Clerk Bill Tuggle said. "A lot of the lights are new and they've never been incorporated in our decorations before."
The evening's celebrations began a little after 5 p.m. when Santa pulled up in a big red firetruck to greet the children who were anxiously awaiting his arrival, many guessing which direction he'd be coming from. After many of the children visited with Santa inside city hall, names for the gift certificate raffles were drawn.
"We've done the raffles before and we go out and we buy a lot of gift certificates only because we like to give back to the persons who have given back to us all year long," city of Dunkirk Mayor Richard Frey said.
"Instead of going to them and asking for something for free we like to buy something from them."
According to Frey, Wednesday's tree lighting celebration was not only a testament to the city's ability to put on a worthwhile event, but also to the contributions made by community members on a daily basis.
"The most amazing thing about this whole evening is the time and devotion that Tim Peterson and his father Bob Peterson put to this project, the hours with no pay. Tim was the technology guy behind the lights that are all computerized," Frey said. "They stepped forward, giving back to our community, and that's what makes Dunkirk a great place to live in; it's the people who come forward."
This year's Christmas tree, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Michael Tofil, is decked out in only a small portion of the 13,520 light bulbs that can be found in the city of Dunkirk, all connected by 2,200 feet of extension cords. Because these lights are LED lights, Frey says it is nothing more than a 60 watt bulb burning on each side of city hall.
"Dunkirk is really good to us; they really give back," Frey said. "Wednesday night was an exciting night and it's something we hope we draw people from all over for. It's a great day in Dunkirk."
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