FULTON, NY – The 14th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Jubilee at Fulton’s City Hall kicked the holiday season off to a jolly start.
Guests enjoyed free hot chocolate, donuts, crafts, and face painting as they awaited the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus to light the city’s Christmas tree.
The musical stylings of Robin Whiting and her bell ringing program, as well as Eric McIntyre, Brock Flynn, Larry Lockwood, and the Snow Belters Barbershop Quartet set the holiday mood.
Santa arrived in style on one of Fulton Fire Department’s fire engines and made his way to the front of the crowd to begin the countdown.
Guests counted in unison from ten, as Santa pulled the lever and the city’s giant Christmas tree lit up in colorful wonderment.
A line formed out the door of City Hall as hundreds of guests waited their turn for a free picture and gift from Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, Barry Ostrander said this year saw one of the better turnouts in the 14 years the annual event has occurred.
“I think it’s been great,” he said. “One of our goals was to really involve the entire community- the business sector, religious sector, non-profits, clubs, and even the school district this year. It was a collaborative effort from so many different people, it got everyone involved. That’s why this is a true community event.”
For the first time this year, the holiday lighting didn’t stop at the city’s tree at City Hall.
The Fulton downtown gazebo has been lit for the holiday season thanks to community members and local businesses.
It started with a conversation between Tony and Janet Rebeor and Dan Carroll, and quickly their thoughts turned into action.
After receiving the OK from city officials, Janet Rebeor set out to solicit donations to purchase lighting for the downtown gazebo and surrounding trees.
“I approached the banks, businesses downtown and all the service clubs and was able to raise more than enough to cover everything including the building of the sign that was donated by Jim Zampogna and the banner on it listing our sponsors that was donated by Uniforms owner, Jill Zampogna Abbott,” Rebeor said.
More than 20 sponsors made the purchases possible and the decorating was done by Janet and Tony Rebeor and Dan Carroll with the help of city employees.
“Everyone that I touched based with for dollars was enthusiastic and more than willing to make it happen,” Rebeor said. “We’ve received so many emails and compliments on it.”
The account will stay open in hopes that next year even more can be done but in its first year, Rebeor said the project was fun and the outcome was perfect, accomplishing what they had set out to do.
“We wanted to boost the morale of our city and make it look like something that we can all look at and make us smile,” Rebeor said. “We hope everyone is enjoying it.”
14th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Sponsors: Dunkin Donuts, Fulton Savings Bank, Pathfinder Bank, Oswego Valley Insurance Agency, Huhtamaki, Integrity Realty, Fulton Alliance Church, Fulton Athletic Boosters, Fulton Public Library, Burke’s, Mimi’s Drive-In, City of Fulton.
Downtown Gazebo Lighting Sponsors: City of Fulton, Fulton Savings Bank, Oswego County Federal Credit Union, Pathfinder Bank, Community Bank, Blue Moon Grill, Canalview Travel, CDA, DOT Publishing, Eastern Shore, Ellen Ladd Agency, Hawthorne Law Firm, Howard Hanna Real Estate, OVIA, Pinnacle Dental, SUNOCO, Spencer and Ann Ludington, Uniforms, Kiwanis, Lions Club, Fulton Rotary Club, Sunrise Rotary, Larry Macner, Tony and Jan Rebeor, Jim and Cathy Trowbridge, Fulton PBA.