Blue tree lighting on town common/ Credit: Needham Observer

Local holiday traditions are lighting up Needham.

On Saturday hundreds of residents gathered at the Town Common for the annual Blue Tree lighting. Performances by the Needham High School chorale and Olin College Fire Arts Club, and hot chocolate courtesy of Dunkin’ and the Charles River Y warmed up the crowd as they awaited the arrival of Santa Claus on a town fire truck. The honor of flipping the switch to light the Blue Tree this year was given to Needham firefighter Mark McCullough, who saved a man’s life at a Patriots game this fall. 

Tonight the annual Menorah Lighting at Town Hall takes place at 6 p.m. to mark the first night of Hanukkah, the eight-day Festival of Lights. Organized by the Chabad Jewish Center, the celebration will include a Gelt drop of chocolate coins from an extended ladder by the Needham Fire Department. The theme for the event is “Unite Through Light” which the Chabad Center says will be “a demonstration of Jewish unity in solidarity with the people of Israel in light of the ongoing war.” A Needham resident whose son is in the Israel Defense Forces will light the Menorah.

 The Holiday Lights Tour of decorated homes is underway sponsored by the Needham Women’s Club. On Sunday, a trolley will take passengers to see the 25 festive locations. Registration is required and is available online, along with the addresses and routes for self-guided tours. Through Dec. 31 you also can vote for your favorite house for a donation to the Women’s Club, which also supports local organizations.

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