HANSON — Residents kicked off the holiday season on Saturday, Dec. 7 by breaking bread — er, pancakes, — with Santa Claus at Camp Kiwanee; thanking volunteers who aid the town’s seniors; and lighting the night sky with fireworks and the town’s Christmas tree.
Hanson Fire apparatus also represented the town and Wyman’s Nursery, which provided wreaths for the engines, in the East Bridgewater Holiday parade Saturday morning.
The volunteers who drive seniors to medical appointments, deliver Meals on Wheels, work the reception desk, and help with the supportive adult day program, sing in the senior chorus, among other projects, were invited to a luncheon at the center Saturday afternoon. A catered meal, with cake was enjoyed while Warren Phillips performed Christmas favorites. Each volunteer received a holiday card signed by the center staff and a pocket planning calendar.
“It’s so wonderful to have you all,” Senior Center Director Mary Collins said. “Take a look around, you are the most important people in this center, I want you to know that. Without you, we would never be able to make it.”
Collins thanked the volunteers for their work on behalf of the staff.
“When I think of my family, I do think of all of you and you make a difference in my life.”
The day was capped off by the town’s seventh annual Holiday Fest on the Town Hall Green.
Craft tables hosted by event co-sponsor Sullivan Funeral Homes and the Hanson PTO provided families with personalized keepsake ornaments and picture frames for the photos with Santa taken by Hanson firefighters.
“It does get a little easier,” Holiday Committee Chairman Steve Amico said of the planning. “What happens is, it all seems to fall together. We have a good corps of people.”
Fire Chief Jerome Thompson, Deputy Chief Robert O’Brien Jr., and Lt. Charles Barends, Police Chief Michael Miksch and Lt. Mike Casey, School Committee chairman Bob Hayes, Amanda Hauck of Sullivan Funeral Homes, Kevin Dykes of the Highway Department, and pastors Kris Skjerli of Calvary Baptist Church and Peter Smith of the Hanson Congregational Church have all been instrumental in planning the event, Amico said.
“Pastor Kris has been unbelievable for the past several years, putting the restaurants together,” he said.
Participating restaurants in town, included Mike’s House of Pizza, The Olde Hitching Post, Meadow Brook Restaurant, Domino’s Pizza and others. The Hanson Kiwanis Club teamed with the Rockland-Hanson Rotary to provide hot chocolate that patrons could add to at a cocoa bar. The Hanson 200 Committee sold souvenir items at a pop-up store in the Nathaniel Thomas Mill, with proceeds going to fund next year’s 200th anniversary celebration of Hanson’s founding.
“We’re going to be joining together with them for the 200th anniversary next Christmas,” Amico said.
Santa received a police and fire escort through traffic, arriving to light the town’s Christmas tree and pose for photos with kids of all ages before a fireworks display capped off the event.
Whitman gets into the holiday spirit next week with the Recreation Department’s annual Christmas party starting at 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14 at Town Hall. “Polar Express” will be screened at 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 15 at the VFW on Essex Street.