Mayor Apel, Town of Vernon Hold 9th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

Mayor George F. Apel and the Town of Vernon yesterday held the town’s 9th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. The event, which began at 6:15 p.m., featured the town’s 3rd Annual Torchlight Parade, followed by the tree lighting and carol sing at Central Park (14 Park Place).

At the ceremony, Mayor Apel delivered a brief statement and read a proclamation declaring the month of December, 2011, as “Winterfest Month” in Vernon. Joining Mayor Apel was Paul Stansel, who assisted the Mayor with lighting the tree. The ceremony marked the beginning of Vernon’s 2011 Winterfest and the holiday season.

Additional 2011 Vernon Winterfest information and a list of scheduled events can be obtained by visiting the Vernon Parks and Recreation website,, or by calling (860) 870-3520.

The text of Mayor Apel’s tree lighting statement is below:

Good evening.

“I would like to welcome everyone and thank you all for being here today to celebrate the start of the holiday season with our 3rd Annual Torchlight Parade and our 9th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony.

“I would also like to thank the Parks and Recreation Department, the Rockville Community Alliance, and all of the individuals who were involved with organizing this event; without these hardworking individuals, our Winterfest celebrations would not be possible.

“Today’s joyous occasion provides all of us with an opportunity to come together as a community and to give thanks for the many blessings of life. It also allows us to commemorate the joy that all of you bring to each other and to our town.

“This holiday season, I ask that all of you remain mindful of those members of the community who are less fortunate and most in need. I also ask that you keep your thoughts and prayers with the brave men and women who fight overseas to keep us safe and to protect our country.

“As we stand here today, before this tree, in the spirit of the holidays, we are truly reminded of how it serves as a testament of our town’s peace, goodwill, and unity. May our tree stand tall as a shining beacon within the community, to remind all residents and visitors of Vernon’s yuletide spirit and joy.

“Now, it is time for the moment that we have all been waiting for – However, I cannot light the tree alone! I have invited Paul Stansel to help me light the tree this evening.” [Tree Lighting]

“Before we conclude the ceremony, I would like to invite everyone to join Mr. and Mrs. Claus for some light refreshments in the lobby of Town Hall. I would also like to remind everyone that there will be many more Winterfest events this month, and to please visit the town’s website for more information.

“On behalf of the town, my wife, Joan, and our family, I want to thank you all for joining us this evening, and I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.”

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