Newburgh Tree Lighting Provides Holiday Cheer

By Jennifer L.Warren

NEWBURGH – AnneMarie Coleman glanced up at the 40 foot, 1,700 pound, brilliant Conifer Tree, situated on lower Broadway in the City of Newburgh Saturday night, as she uttered, “It’s a full circle kind of thing.”

Coleman, was referring to the cemented, familial links connected to the massive, colorful tree that had just been officially illuminated. This year’s masterpiece was donated by AnneMarie’s parent-in-laws, Dan and Carrol Coleman of New Windsor. Planted by Dan 35 years ago on the side of the New-Windsor- based couple’s yard, the Conifer, was referred to one of the Tree Lighting event organizer’s George Garrison (related to the Coleman’s), the Superintendent of Public Works, as “the prettiest he has seen.” Meanwhile, Carol Coleman, dubbed the tree, “a wonderful, real blessing.”

Saturday night, on Lower Broadway, in the City of Newburgh, the well-attended and much anticipated Annual Christmas Tree Lighting event took place.
Saturday night, on Lower Broadway, in the City of Newburgh, the well-attended and much anticipated Annual Christmas Tree Lighting event took place.

“When George approached us, knocking on our door, before Thanksgiving, about donating the tree, it had never occurred to me to do anything like that,” recalled Dan Coleman, who along with his brother and father, delivered fresh eggs and produce throughout Newburgh before their retirements. “But, I’m so glad we did.”

That excitement and joy was rooted in being a part of what was the City of Newburgh’s biggest tree lighting crowd ever. A popular yearly tradition, which many surrounding City of Newburgh residents consistently and eagerly anticipate, it’s organized by the City Water and Planning and Development agencies, led by Water Superintendent, Wayne Vradenvurgh and Ali Church, Director of Planning and Development.

“This is a full team effort,” explained Garrison, as he enjoyed the Lighting Saturday night. “It all started during COVID when no one could really do anything.”

The tree lighting delivered plenty this year to keep guests occupied: an intricately designed, stunning red sleigh to admire, several festively and creatively decorated holiday-themed booths for children- and adults- to visit and snap memorable pictures surrounded by or simply absorb the moment, complimentary buttery popcorn and warm hot chocolate and even gifts for children, visits and picture opportunities with a jolly Santa Claus as well as his trio of elves, and just a chance to take in the beauty of the uplifting, community bonding aura.

“It’s always, always a good time in the City of Newburgh to have a safe, good and fun event,” said City Manager, Todd Venning. “This is one of the best Tree Lightings in the area, a great opportunity to bring community out and foster it; the feedback on how it is received is always so good.”

That community turnout included several local, political dignitaries, directly interacting with residents,

“It’s the season of thanks and giving; what a beautifully festive way to bring the City’s residents together that ultimately strengthens the social fabric of a thriving community,” said Sonya Grant, City of Newburgh Mayor, Torrance Harvey’s Community Liaison on Special Assignments. “Community leaders-like myself-have to show up and show out when it comes to driving the narrative of all that’s perfect and bright on a silent night.”

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