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By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
December is filled with many festive events. Many towns celebrate by lighting a tree, but few can be said to be as iconic as Needham’s Blue Tree lighting. On Saturday, December 7, prior to lighting of the Blue Tree, Needhamites celebrated with a party in Powers Hall. From 2:00 until 5:00, guests were invited to do some crafting, watch some entertaining acts, and enjoy some delicious snacks.
Attendees could sit and watch a variety of acts on the stage. Children were awed by the performance of ballerinas, while others cheered on some quick Irish step students. A crowd favorite was Kilted Colin, armed with a ridiculously tall unicycle, a musical instrument or two, and the power of comedy. Among the randomness of his performance was a dance competition that soon morphed into beat-boxing and juggling. Soon, Colin picked out some volunteers from the audience. After handing each volunteer their own kilts to don, the performer used the volunteers’ help to climb to the top of his towering unicycle. Immediately, he started riding it. Within seconds, he began taking requests for songs to play on the bagpipes.
“Jingle Bells!” shouted a few kids. Colin then played a completely unrelated tune on the instrument, and then sang “Jingle all the way.” All of the children in the audience giggled at the absurdity.
The hall was filled with different activities for every kid. A balloon artist blew up and twisted red, white, and blue balloons into all different holiday-themed shapes. Cute dogs, angels, red and white santa beards and hats, and candy canes filled the arms of children around the room.
Other kids settled at the craft table. Using tissue paper and glue, kids pasted the paper onto a plastic cup to make a lantern. Others flocked to have their faces painted. Those with sweet tooths flocked to grab a chocolate chip cookie or a sugar cookie to enjoy before resuming festive activities.
TJ Ferguson came with his family for the event for the first time. His kids loved getting a Santa beard and candy cane balloon sculptures. “It’s a great way to ring in the season with the kids and the community without the cold,” said Ferguson.
For many, the party at Powers Hall was a reminder of what this season is all about: giving, community, fun, and even the occasional cookie. It was the perfect way to lead into the evening’s highlight: the lighting of the Blue Tree and the arrival of Santa Claus himself.