Tree lighting features (virtual) holiday tour of Trumbull

TRUMBULL — Jack Frost may not have been nipping at anyone’s nose, but that wasn’t for lack of trying as town officials presented a virtual tree lighting video Friday.

The 18-minute production featured sights and sounds from around town, ending with a heads of the town’s emergency response departments flipping the switch while socially distanced in the Town Hall gazebo.

“It’s truly unfortunate we can’t be all together,” First Selectman Vicki Tesoro said. “The holiday may look different this year, but the sense and the strength of the holiday season is extra strong because of it.”

The lighting was preceded by a 15-minute virtual tour of Trumbull that featured video of dozens of town landmarks, and several decorated private homes. The few minutes of video, though, required days of work on behalf of Trumbull Community TV’s program manager Lara Walden and program editor Katie Dunn.

“We split the list of destinations and then did the recording over a couple evenings,” Walden said. “The idea was to make it seem like a family took a 20-minute drive through town to look at the decorations.”

The effect was heightened by the fact that the video featured long shots of the locations rather than still photos.

“We wanted the feeling that you were there,” Walden said. “The scenes were all shot with a monopod, which means that unlike a tripod, you can’t hold it perfectly still so there’s a sense of movement, and the lights are blinking and cars are driving by.”

The video also included music from the 2018 and 2019 tree lightings. These were selected to maintain a Trumbull-centric feel, Walden said.

Beginning and ending at Town Hall, the virtual tour included the Town Hall Green at sunset, then lit up displays at town landmarks Westfield Trumbull mall, Main Street Plaza, Plasko’s Farm, Trumbull Volunteer Fire Co., Calvary Church, the Nichols Improvement Association, the Trumbull Historical Society, the barn at Christian Heritage School and Twin Brooks Park.

Numerous private homes and businesses were also part of the tour. Music included seasonal selections from Billy Genuario’s 2018 performance at the tree lighting, the Madison Middle School’s 2019 Christmas concert, the Trumbull Youth Association choir and Brett Boles’ 2019 tree-lighting performance.

Finally, after eight holiday songs and stops at more than two dozen displays, the tour concluded back at Town Hall, where Tesoro thanked the emergency responders, teachers, health care workers and all essential employees for their continued work during the pandemic.

“Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, happy holidays,” she said. “And we wish you all a happy, and most importantly, a healthy new year.”