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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Santa's Vermont Sleigh

I've always been a fan of community happenings. Each week I scour the paper looking for the church spaghetti dinners, craft fairs, book sales, parades, car shows, sock sales, and community dances. I don't go to them all, but I've been told more then once that I've been to more events then people who have lived in the area their whole lives.

That being said, Christmas time for me is, well, uhh...I guess it's like Christmas. Nearly every weekend I drag the family out for one happening or another (and let me tell you, I feel a lot better about it now that I've got a kid to bring along). The number of events that take place during the foliage season barely hold a candle to what takes place during the run up to Christmas. Nearly every community has a tree lighting event (two years ago I was at the lighting of the Statehouse tree, all by my lonesome), there are cookie/candy making demonstrations, and more carolers than you can shake a stick at.

Last night the family and I headed over to the annual lighting of Montpelier's Christmas tree, which is sponsored by the City's downtown association. Among other things, there was a tuba band, ginger bread decorating, and Santa Clause. But Santa wasn't the main attraction (while his plumber's crack was the real distraction). The kids standing in line were only focusing on one thing: the cement truck. A fixture in Central Vermont each holiday season, the S.T. Griswold cement mixing truck is decorated with over 20,000 lights. I remember seeing it driving down the interstate last year, but I wasn't sure what my eyes were telling me. Amidst the diesel fumes and the rumble, the truck sat spinning for all the kids and grown-ups to see.
Two things I wonder:
1) Is this Santa's preferred mode of transportation?
2) How do they keep the lights from getting wrapped around the spinning body?

Now that's Christmas - mystery, amazement, & tradition.

Sufjan Stevens - That Was the Worst Christmas Ever.mp3
Ella Fitzgerald - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.mp3
Bright Eyes - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.mp3

For a great indie christmas mixtape, check out the one that Gorilla vs. Bear has put together.

I apologize for the poor picture quality. My next cell phone will have a much higher grade camera. For much nicer pictures, check out the great downtown Montpelier blog Terrapin-Gardens. This one of Scully is my favorite.


  • At 11:13 AM, Anonymous scully said…

    Hand firmly grasping the fire hydrant post ;)

    Sorry we missed you last night. I too peruse the community events calendars, but let me know if you find anything interesting!

  • At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That cement truck is the shizznit. I find it funny that the company is called Griswold...what does the name Griswold remind you of? National Lampoons XMas faction G. The Griswold family...ahh the poor cat and the XMas lights.

    Now they know sledding.

  • At 12:37 AM, Blogger Flatlander said…

    I love that mixer. My son nearly hyperventilated last year when we saw it coming down State St.

    Unfortunately, I was in Nj last night and missed the tree lighting. My son would have loved it. We've been piling into the car after dinner each night to drive around looking at lights. The gaudier they get, the more he loves them.


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