Sirens rang through the air all throughout town the night of December 18, but not because of faulty carbon monoxide alarms or burnt cookies filling kitchens with smoke (admit it, we’ve all had an alarm go off at 2 in the morning, right?)
Over the course of two hours, the decorated firetrucks and ambulance vehicles lit the rainy, misty evening starting at the Chappaqua Fire House, making its way down several streets and then ending at the Chappaqua Train Station.
Around 6 p.m., the parade made its way to my street. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it was Fire Chief Russ Maitland and his pup Quincy in the back of his chief truck, driving behind the first fire truck and leading the way for the rest.
“Driving through our town spreading holiday cheer is a hallmark event that is the epitome of small-town community, spirit and unity,” Maitland said.
Sure, it was pitch black outside. Sure, it was cold and rainy. But that certainly didn’t stop people from standing outside their homes to wave to Santa and the local first responders.
While waiting for the trucks to drive by, I saw families from nearby streets all come together at my neighbor’s house, forming a sort of parade watch party!
“It was an opportunity to see something different right outside my door,” Chappaqua resident Eric Alani said. “The kids loved the sirens, and especially loved catching the candy being thrown from the trucks.”
Now as if a holiday parade on Saturday was not ‘enough’ to brighten spirits this season, New Castle dialed it up a notch with an energetic magic show, followed by a holiday bonfire, a visit from Frosty, and a group of Christmas carolers, all of whom drew hundreds to Recreation field. See our Instagram coverage at https://www.instagram.com/insidepress/
On Sunday, a full moon over the fire and the firetrucks in the distance only accentuated the magic of the weekend.
“Who wants a bonfire?!!” exclaimed New Castle Town Supervisor Lisa Katz to a wide circle of excited spectators waiting to watch volunteer firefighters from both the Chappaqua & Millwood Fire Departments light up the wood as they assembled for the occasion, and after thanking the event sponsors, including the New Castle Recreation & Parks Department, Sari Shaw of the Westchester Living Team, and Bobos Cafe for hot chocolate. “I hope you all got to see Santa come by your neighborhood!” Katz added, along with her best wishes for a happy holiday & healthy new year, full of good health, happiness, laughter and love.”
Ike Kuzio, superintendent of New Castle Recreation & Parks, extolled a “total team effort from within the fire department and parks department which took a month of planning and reaching out to local vendors.” He said the bonfire was a first for Chappaqua, and “a new great community event,” and that “it was all worth it to see all the smiles on faces.”
Kuzio said he “felt comfortable enough with it being an outdoor event. Our mantra in these times has been: ‘let’s put the programs and events out there, and make them as safe as we can make them, and let people make decisions on their own.'”
Grace Bennett contributed to this report.