Santa Claus visits Shelburne early

Photo by Betsy Cieplicki
A young girl talks to Santa Claus about what she hopes to see under the tree on Christmas morning.
Photo by Scott Wilson
S.D. Ireland lights up the celebration with the company’s festive truck.


Santa Claus made his entrance into Shelburne on a firetruck Friday night as the sounds of holiday carols filled the air for the annual tree-lighting festivities on the village green.

A crowd easily numbering more than 100 people – mostly families with young children – gathered on the relatively mild night as some snow lingered from the storm earlier in the week.

“The weather cooperated and it was great,” said town clerk Diana Vachon, whose husband Matt Vachon along with friend Scott Evans led the caroling with the children.

The youngsters crowded around Santa after he climbed down from the truck. Once the tree lights were on, the crowd made its way across Shelburne Road with the help of Shelburne Police stopping traffic.

Photo by Madeline Hughes
Children and families gather around the tree in the middle of the village to take photos with Santa Claus.
Photo by Madeline Hughes
Carolers set the tone at Friday’s tree-lighting celebration.

People congregated in the gymnasium at the town center for cookies and warm drinks and one-on-one time with Santa, of course.

Santa had a special seat on the stage where children took turns visiting with him. He listened carefully to all of the Christmas wishes.

Afterward, Santa said the popular items on many kids’ minds were a Nintendo Switch, Xbox games, Lego sets, and L.O.L. Surprise Dolls.

Dylan Couture, 8, asked Santa for Cars Race-O-Rama. Leo Denenberg, 9, asked for a Kano Screen Kit. Brady Hines, 9, specified a Lego Death Star.

“I was glad to see everyone out to meet with me,” Santa said. “Remember, kids, to behave for your parents and stay on the nice list. I look forward to dropping things off at your houses.”

For those who like to leave out treats on Christmas Eve, Santa added that his favorite cookies are oatmeal raisin and white chocolate macadamia nut.

The annual event was organized by the Parks and Recreation Department.

“We had a great crowd, possibly one of our biggest thanks to a warm night,” said Sue Craig, administrative assistant in the recreation office. “Shelburne Parks and Recreation would like to thank TD Bank for the elf hats and reusable shopping bags donated to all those caroling outside at the tree lighting.”

She also noted Vachon and Evans who led the singing and Garrett Gruendling,  Santa’s helper for the evening, and the crew of volunteers who handled the details.

Lighting of the tree


Photo by Lee Krohn
Santa Claus greets children as more than 100 people gathered on the Shelburne village green for the tree lighting Friday night.

We welcome you with peace and joy
As we come and gather round.
Celebrating with community
A season of sights and sounds.

Growing alongside this highway
Watching families come and go;
Giving beauty to our town green,
Your one mission just to grow.

Snows of winter soon to arrive
Will dress these bows of evergreen,
Sharing the night with moon and stars
To present a magical scene.

Each year we await the moment
For the twinkling of these lights
Warming the hearts of travelers
On cold, dark, wintery nights.

Rick Bessette is Shelburne’s
poet laureate.

Photo by Lee Krohn
Photo by Lee Krohn
Santa Claus wades into the crowd of children after riding into town on a Shelburne fire truck.

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