NORTHBOROUGH – Hundreds of Northborough community members filled Blake Street on Dec. 4 for this year’s “Light Up Northborough” event.
After a virtual tree lighting in 2020, the event returned in-person this year. In doing so, it brought a new addition with it.
For the first time in this event’s history, the Christmas tree lighting was preceded by the lighting of seven candles on a menorah, celebrating the seventh day of Hanukkah.
The menorah was recently installed facing Main Street in Northborough after a resident requested that one be put up.
Diversity and Inclusion Committee chair Tim Kaelin was tasked with addressing community requests such as this one. According to Kaelin, this change is one of many planned to help the town be more inclusive.
“This year, everything lined up and it was just a perfect opportunity for the community to finally recognize Hanukkah and put up a menorah, and we’re really excited about that,” Kaelin said. “We want to make sure that every different community in the town, every different religion is recognized, not just in December but over the course of the entire year.”
With the annual tree lighting having gone mostly unchanged since its origin more than 50 years ago, Suzanne Cieslica, Chair of Northborough’s Community Affairs Committee, was responsible for organizing this year’s expanded event.
“We are very excited about starting something new, and it meant a lot to our community,” Cieslica said. “Our community has become very diverse, and we are looking forward to starting a string of new events across Northborough in the next year.”
The tree lighting first took place in 1968 and memorializes Northborough resident Neil Ellsworth, who was killed in the Vietnam War.
This year’s event was sponsored by Realtor Lorna Helms, Jacob Stein Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, MetroWest Painting, Northborough House of Pizza and Wegmans.
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