In the middle of the rush hour buzz in Watertown Square, the holiday spirit suddenly shone through Thursday evening when a tree decorated for the Holidays illuminated with colorful lights.
The tree lighting ceremony sponsored by the Watertown Belmont Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Watertown was the first of what could become an annual tradition in town.
Dozens of children and their parents were joined by town officials and local business owners for the ceremony.
Before the lights went on, a special guest showed up on a Watertown Fire engine. Flashing lights and blaring sirens announced Santa Claus' arrival at the Watertown Square Delta.
Watertown's Wendi Beale came down with her husband L.T, and sons Carson, 3, and Caleb, 5 months.
"It is his first tree lighting," Wendi said about Carson. It was also, of course, the first for her infant son.
"We were trying to find a local tree lighting and we heard about this one," she said. "I thought it was very nice."
The tree and decorations came from a variety of donors, said Brenda Fanara, executive director of the chamber of commerce. The tree came from Russo's and Sons, while the decorations were provided by Home Depot. Watertown Savings Bank and Dunkin Donuts also chipped in, Fanara said.
A crew from Home Depot put up the Christmas lights and ornaments, including Babs Searcy, Deborah Thibodeau, Toni Sebasian and Leor Sear-Brent, all of whom work at the Watertown Home Depot store. They got some help in the "muscle department" from co-workers James Warner, Dave Edmonson and Pete Taffel.
Following the ceremony, many headed to Town Hall for some refreshments, and enjoyed a performance by the Perkins School for the Blind Choir.
Town Manager Michael Driscoll thanked the choir, as well as the town employees who helped put together the event, including those from the Department of Public Works, the Fire and Police departments and Marsha Osmand and JoAnna Hand from the Town Manager's office.