MALDEN — The lighting of a city’s or town’s Christmas tree is certainly the centerpiece of each community’s holiday celebration.
Malden got to experience the glow not once but twice in the same evening at its traditional tree lighting. Adding to the excitement was that both of the tree lightings were “firsts.”
Malden Mayor Gary Christenson led a pair of tree lightings in Malden Saturday, the first one was the city Christmas Tree on the lawn of the Malden Public Library. The second was at Fellsmere Pond about two hours later, this one coming courtesy of a 24-foot decorated tree donated by Councilor-at-Large Craig Spadafora and his family.
More than 150 revelers gathered on the front lawn in front of the library for the first tree lighting at that site in many years. It was a change of venue for the city tree lighting. For many years the ceremony has been with the tree positioned in front of the former City Hall.
“We are at a new spot in the city for this year’s Christmas tree lighting due to the ongoing construction for our new City Hall on Pleasant,” Christenson told those gathered. “We welcome all and thank our Library Director Dora St. Martin and the library staff for being so gracious to host this year’s tree lighting event.”
At the beginning of the ceremony, Grand Marshals Kevin Kyes and Bobby Cobb announced the winner of this year’s School Float Contest and $350 for their art department was the Ferryway School with their unique “Back to the Future” float. Those who came were then treated to vocals by “The Explosions” of Susie and Nathan’s Music Studio. The “countdown” was held and then the official lighting.
This year’s tree was donated by Malden residents Richard and Jean Walsh of Forest Street.
Two hours later another 200 residents gathered at Fellsmere Pond for a second Christmas Tree Lighting hosted by Spadafora.
Hot chocolate and cookies, donated by Anthony’s of Malden, greeted those in attendance and still another countdown was held before the 24-foot artificial tree adorned with white and gold lighting was lit up.
“We’ve been wanting to this for some time,” Spadafora said. “What better place than historic Fellsmere Pond to light up a Christmas Tree. It adds to the picturesque beauty around the pond.
U.S. Senator Edward Markey, D-Mass., a Malden resident, joined Christenson, Spadafora and Ward 3’s John Matheson and others for the lighting.