Holyoke marks start of holiday season with annual tree lighting

The city of Holyoke kicked off the holiday season Saturday with their annual tree lighting ceremony.
Published: Dec. 3, 2022 at 10:34 PM EST
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HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The city of Holyoke kicked off the holiday season Saturday with their annual tree lighting ceremony. Despite the rainy weather, dozens gathered to celebrate the season and honor a beloved annual tradition.

“That’s what we’re here for: to have fun. It’s good to see the families come out and everything. It’s fun to be here and I’m proud of that,” said Edwin Colon of Holyoke.

Holyoke residents rang in the holiday season with a beloved annual tradition: the city’s tree lighting ceremony. Colon and other residents told Western Mass News that Saturday night was about celebrating the season, their city, and their culture. He said the heavy rain didn’t stop him from coming out and having a good time.

“…And despite all the weather and they told me it was going to be raining, it rained just a little, but this is the spirit and this is Christmas and that’s what we’re here for,” Colon added.

The afternoon was filled with unlimited rides on the Merry-Go-Round for children and adults, crafts at the Holyoke Children’s Museum, and a performance from the Holyoke High School choir. However, the tree lighting ceremony was the night’s main attraction and after the main event, dozens of fire trucks from around the region decked out in holiday lights participated in the parade of lights

Saturday night’s festivities ended with a parranda, a Puerto Rican tradition filled with Spanish caroling. Western Mass News asked Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia what this event means to him.

“I tell people when I ran for mayor, I didn’t just run to put together budgets and do financial forecasts and planning, I specifically wanted ran because I wanted to do the annual tree lighting ceremony…It’s a wonderful opportunity to forget about whatever else if going on and celebrate,” Garcia said.

In addition to Garcia and other city leaders, there was yet another special guest there tonight. Santa Claus made an appearance during tonight’s parade.