NORTH SALEM, N.Y. - Before he continued on his rounds around the world on Saturday evening, Santa paused in North Salem to spread good cheer and ask the children for their last minute gift requests. Santas reindeer were having their harnesses adjusted at Old Salem Farm, so he drove over atop a firetruck, compliments of the Croton Falls Fire Department.
A few hundred people awaited him at the site of the community Christmas tree on Titicus Road (Route 116), their cars lining the road as far as you could see. Tim Purdy greeted everyone at the edge of the field and directed them toward the tables where neighbors served chocolate chip cookies, cider and hot cocoa.
Beyond the Christmas tree, a roaring bonfire provided warmth, light and romance, while the crowd huddled together to sing Christmas carols. A half dozen dogs politely refrained from howling in accompaniment.
The annual lighting of the community Christmas tree is one of North Salems oldest traditions. It has been celebrated for over 90 years.
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