Enjoy the pictures of this year's Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony that began with members of the community getting together to make this truly a Winter Wonderland. Please feel free to take any pictures from the album for your own use.



Friends and neighbors add the final touches to the gazebo where three familiar faces were already there to greet them.


Right after Thanksgiving the beautiful trees that were donated by Mancuso Tree Farm in Sundown, NY were brought into town to be decorated by local businesses and organizations.Thanks to many hands from the Town of Neversink crew, the trees were set in their stands and waiting to be donned in their holiday finery.

The weather was just perfect for the job. No frozen fingers this year!


The Lions' Club tree was among the first to be decorated.

Claire Rennison checks out their tree.


The Townsman Volunteer Ladies, Barbara Barkley and Jean Helthaler patiently wait for the decorations to be delivered.

Claire Rennison, who worked on several trees, adds a final touch to a garland she created.


Just like magic, the little crimped package of ribbon that she neatly folded became a delightful holiday garland! Jean Helthaler holds other garlands made by the Townsman Volunteer Ladies, who by the way, spend Wednesday mornings inserting flyers and making the final preparations for mailing the Townsman each week.

Barbara Barkley and Claire add some gnomes.

The connection of gnomes with the Townsman is that it is published by Gnome Home Inc. and one of the weekly columnists is "Knarf the Gnome," who scoots around the 'gnear-by gneighborhoods' getting little bits of information.


Frank Comando, (makes the claim of getting the coffee) helps the Townsman Ladies. Frank and Tom Smith are the two local gentleman that add the extra force that is needed to bring the Townsman to you each week.


The Townsman Ladies are getting down to business as usual. Concentrating on every last detail.


"OOOoops!" That's a common word to the Townsman staff. "Look what the gnomes did!" exclaims! Linda Comando who'gnows the gnomes' quite well and claims some live in their backyard. Coming to the U.S. with her grandfather over one-hundred years ago, they were not the first to reach U.S. shores. Gnomes were in New York as reported by Washington Irving in 'The Sketch Book' that depicts a story of old Rip Van Winkle who lived in our very own Catskill Mountains!


Barbara takes a coffee break and a stroll to see what's going on at the gazebo.


Although you couldn't see her too well in the background of the previous picture, Barbara Purcell has been a driving force of the Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony since it began. She makes sure the 'carolers in the park' are picture perfect each year. This year, Knarf is back in town and joins not only the carolers, but Santa had some time to sneak in too!

...a Kodak moment!

Let's have another cup of coffee!



An added touch the the Townsman tree. Created by Liz (aka Mary Barkley) Johnson, these adorable little gnome homes added just what was needed; a place for all the little park gnomes to go when it gets too cold!


The activity builds as more people arrive.

This is the Town of Neversink Town Hall Christmas tree. A must to see. Many of the ornaments were natural gifts from Mother Nature herself. The tree is topped off with a bunch of cattails that are common to our area.


This is a literate gnome, who is reading the Townsman to a younger sibling.


Jean adds a final touch.


... and the gnomes were ready to do their 'thing' - bring holiday smiles to faces!


...including the Townsman Ladies. There are more Townsman ladies who helped to make the ornaments and worked on this project this past year. All together, the Townsman Ladies are: Martha Ahrens, Barbara Barkley, Carolyn Coombe, Shirley Davis, Joan Hall, Jean Helthaler, Polly Hill, Joyce Lockhart, Avril Papa, Barbara Purcell, Clair Rennison, Hulda Vernoy, Barbara Slater, Karen Curry and Linda Comando. The Townsman gents are Tom Smith and Frank Comando.


... with the gnome homes in place, all that needs to be done now,

is to light the lights!

The trees were all decorated, and the gazebo was ready.

It was November 29th, time for the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony.

The sun is getting ready to hide behind the mountain

as the celebrants begin to arrive.


The Carolers and Knarf (Holiday Helper) are ready for the Holiday Scene.

Jonathan takes a stroll through the park.


The gathering grows...


Santa joins the festivities.


Barbara Purcell finally gets to put on her gloves as she finishes the last tiny little details to make the 'old-fashioned' picture perfect holiday park scene!


... and the gathering grows.

... and grows

... and becomes a joyous sea of people; friends, relatives and neighbors from nearby and afar. There were relatives in for the holidays from Florida and Texas, and maybe some from more distant places.

What a beautiful sight to see so many happy faces celebrating the gift of light and community cheer.

After prayer and a greeting, the countdown began.


Town of Neversink Supervisor, Greg Goldstein led those who had gathered

for the event in the countdown.

...10, 9...


...8, 7...




..5, 4, 3, 2....



Winter Wonderland 2009!

Pastor Bob Kersten read the scripture.

Then the carolers were ready to sing.

... and Santa was ready too!





Led by Pastor Bob and his wife Sue, the celebrants sang with great joy, celebrating the new light of the season.



As the sun was setting, the park now had its own holiday glow.





The singing continued...


...while curious faces filled with wonder began to create a new energy that will fill the holiday season.


Relatives and friends take the time to greet each other in the spirit of season.



While many strolled through the park to see the trees bathed in their new light, other stopped to say 'hi' to Ric Coombe, who built the fire and hosted the marshmallow toasting. .


It wasn't over yet! Back at the gazebo..

..it was time for a Christmas favorite of children of all ages.


Young and old were captured by the familiar

words of "The Night Before Christmas' read by Sue Woodworth.





As the moon grew bright, but not on new fallen snow, it certainly gave a luster the the park below.

As Sue finished the poem, we all knew the time drew near

to wish all of our friends ...



a good night filled with Holiday Cheer,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!



Back to The Townsman Home Page

Back to the Gnome Home