At 3 p.m. on Sunday, the center of town was a flurry of activity as the 2012 Holiday Festival began with most of the attention immediately concentrated on the front lawn of the Clark Building where Bill Covitz from Ice Matters (based in Waterbury) was working on making this year’s ice sculpture from a large block of ice.
Children and adults gathered around and tried to guess what the finished sculpture would be… a snowman? a reindeer? Santa? No, this year’s creation was an elf with a Santa hat. Although there was a chill in the air, it was still warm enough to cause some slow melting as Covitz worked on it.
When he was done, Covitz moved the 3D elf to the bushes near the sidewalk where children gathered around it and couldn’t help but touch it. Covitz said it would melt about 1/2 inch an hour.
The Amity Chamber Singers, under the direction of Chris Hickerson, performed in the Case Memorial Library and immediately afterward Al deCant entertained a large crowd in the second floor meeting and display room.
Even though the events were staggered, somehow everyone missed at least one thing, such as the bell chorus at the church at 4 p.m. if you hung around the library for deCant’s set. Or forgetting about the gingerbread house display while you were checking out the model railroad display in the Academy Building.
The festivities were nonstop, but something was missing. The smell of fresh buttered popped corn and an organized sing-along around the tree.
But that didn’t seem to matter, First Selectman Jim Zeoli did his best and engaged the crowd in singing jingle bells and Rudolph and the most comical rendition of the 12 days of Christmas kept spirits high until “Buddy” the Elf flipped the switch and lit the tree on the green.
For all the complaints we’ve heard about the size of the tree over the past few weeks, no one seemed to be complaining when the bright LED lights lit up the branches.
Santa arrived on a Fire Engine, and then held court with all the children who shared their deepest hopes and dreams with him as the little tree twinkled in the background.
Even without a Special Events Committee, this holiday event went very well. Happy Holidays Everyone!