The Staples Orphenians sing on the steps of Town Hall before the town's Christmas tree lighting on Thursday. / Photo by Thane Grauel
The Staples Orphenians sing on the steps of Town Hall before the town’s Christmas tree lighting on Thursday. / Photo by Thane Grauel

By Thane Grauel

WESTPORT — People gathered outside Town Hall on Thursday evening for a ceremony to light the town’s Christmas tree.

There was hot chocolate, chilly air and songs on the steps by the Staples Orphenians.

First Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker thanked the Department of Public Works for hanging the lights on the evergreen on the hill beneath Town Hall, and making the annual event possible.

“You do so much for us on an everyday basis, but not usually so glamorous,” she said. “So, thank you very much.”

She thanked the Orphenians.

“You have lifted us up tonight with your beautiful performance, bringing us closer to the holiday spirit in a way that only music can,” Tooker told the high-schoolers.

“While this always is a very special occasion, full of hope and warmth, it feels even more significant this year,” Tooker said. “The last few years have brought us closer together as a community. We’ve demonstrated that we can face any challenge, with kindness and with support for one another. And we’re always striving as a community to be more welcoming, and to be a place where everyone feels that they belong.”

Westport's Christmas tree outside Town Hall. / Photo by Thane Grauel
Westport’s Christmas tree outside Town Hall. / Photo by Thane Grauel

Tooker invited children to come up and help count down to the tree lighting.

“Three! Two! One!” they all shouted, and as the tree was illuminated, a firetruck blew its siren.