Holley has blue tree-lighting celebration in honor of first responders

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 3 December 2017 at 8:39 am

Photos by Kristina Gabalski

HOLLEY – The Village of Holley celebrated a tree-lighting on Saturday night with the lights on the tree blue in honor of police and emergency responders in the Village of Holley.

A crowd gathered around the tree during an expanded “Night of Lights” celebration at Holley.  Holley expanded the event from a parade and tree lighting to include multiple events in the Public Square beginning at 4 p.m.

The parade route went down Rt. 237 from the Elementary School to Wright Street and the Public Square. Mild, calm weather made for a pleasant evening for a holiday parade. This truck is from the Fancher-Hulberton-Murray Volunteer Fire Company.

Holley Central School JV and Varsity Cheerleaders took first place in the parade with their “Ronald McDonald House” Christmas float. Peter Gewertz’s organ grinder float came in second place, and J&J Electric came in third place with an “Elfland” float.

A pumper truck from the Brockport Fire Department joined the parade.

The Holley Municipal Electric Department rounded out the parade with Santa at the back of the truck.

Santa heads towards the Public Square for the Memory Bulb and Tree Lighting ceremony.

Mayor Brian Sorochty was master of ceremonies for the tree lighting in the Public Square. Sorochty  read a long list of names for the Memory Bulb ceremony. The tradition began in 1982 with community members purchasing “memory bulbs” in honor of deceased loved ones. All names are read before the tree is lit.

Additionally, the village began a new tradition this year, by selecting its first Village of Holley Citizen of the Year. Dr. Krista Wiley-Neale, owner of Wiley’s Ark Animal Care, was chosen for her efforts on behalf of the community including participation on the Village of Holley Development Corporation Board and the committee which organizes community events such as the Holley Night of Lights and June Fest. Wiley-Neale said she was very moved to receive the recognition and was given the honor of lighting the tree.

Mayor Sorochty announced that this year, the Holley tree is being lit in all blue lights in honor of police and emergency services personnel and the sacrifices they make in serving their community. Members of the police and fire departments were present for the tree lighting ceremony and Police Chief Roland Nenni, third from left, thanked Sorochty for the recognition from the community.

Marilyn Meade-Slentz samples wine from Leonard Oakes Winery at Dr. Daniel Schiavone’s dental office. Businesses in the Public Square hosted local wineries and crafts people beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Meade-Slentz, who lives in Holley, called the expanded Night of Lights event, “wonderful, I’m so excited they are doing this here.”

The Holley Community Free Library also hosted its annual community holiday party during the Night of Lights. Participants enjoyed signing carols, refreshments, holiday movies and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Here, 8-year old Desire`e Lashae visits with Santa.

Library Director Sandra Shaw said the library was a popular spot for families during the event. “It’s working well,” she said of the Night of Lights. She said the library celebration is the library’s, “gift back to the community,” during the holidays.

The Hat and Mitten tree is shown at the library. Donations for the tree will be taken to ABCD Grace’s Place Migrant Center and Monroe 2 BOCES, library director Sandra Shaw said.

Following the parade, community members gathered at the Fire Hall for performances by student musical groups from Holley Central Schools as well as refreshments.

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