Middletown Tree Lighting and Parade was the place to be the night after Thanksgiving.
I’ve been around Middletown for a longtime and never have seen a crowd like this.
I’ll agree with the crowd estimates. People were ten deep or more. 3,500 to 4,000 at Festival Square for the tree lighting.
There must have been at least one-thousand people in the parade. Community groups of all types marched. There were holiday decorated cars, trucks and vans. Holiday music from bands.
And of course, Santa. He arrived a top a fire truck. He was lifted in truck’s ladder platform over the crowd. When he reached near the top of the tree the crowd counted down 5,4,3,2,1. Santa lighted the tree.
Getting a big crowd of people downtown is a good measure for what the City is working on there now.
In the months to come I’d like to get these people back to give some oohs and aahs over new improvements in the downtown area.
- Look for new facades and signage on buildings.
- The new Rail Trail Commons, that’s the redeveloped vacant Woolworth’s building being turned into new retail space and the link to the Rail Trail.
- Upgrades of Trees, Streetscapes, and Wayfinding Signage
- Improved and Redesigned Parking
- Eire Way Park.
It’s all part of a $10,000,000 grant the city has received from New York State to revitalize the downtown area. Applications for the new facades are being accepted and work on other aspects of the program is underway.
I hope this will help people find downtown welcoming all year just as they do for the tree lighting.