Trumbull to premiere tree-lighting video next week

TRUMBULL — A new holiday special will join the television lineup next week. While it may not reach the iconic status of Rudolph or Frosty, town officials hope the Trumbull tree lighting draws a virtual crowd when it premieres at 7 p.m. on Dec. 11.

“Obviously, because of COVID, there’s no gatherings like there would be for a tree lighting in a normal year,” said Lara Walden, program manager at Trumbull Community Television. “But we do want to continue the tradition as best we can given the circumstances. We want to help build the holiday spirit without putting anyone at risk.”

The tree lighting video, which will premiere on the town’s Facebook page and on TCTV, Charter Spectrum Channel 194 and Frontier Vantage Channel 6019, will feature footage from previous holiday celebrations, plus a few additions. First Selectman Vicki Tesoro will remotely flip the switch to light the tree.

“We could have just had Vicki say a few words and light the tree, but that would have been a five-minute broadcast,” Walden said. “We wanted to put together something more for the community.”

Tesoro said the video would include footage from around the town, including holiday decorations at private homes and places like the town’s firehouses. Various musical interludes and scenes from houses of worship, including a local synagogue, are also planned, she said.

“It’s something that a number of towns are doing, either coming up with a way to have a virtual celebration, or just canceling their events entirely,” she said. “But we’ll have our decorations up, and we’ll have an online community celebration.”

With the video still in production, even the people involved don’t know exactly what will be included in the final package.

“We’re really trying to capture the festive spirit of the community,” Tesoro said. “I know people would rather come to Town Hall and see the tree and the (decorated Long Hill Fire Department) truck. But with a festive video collage, at least we can present something that’s fun and safe.”

One secret she declined to divulge, is how the actual act of flipping the switch to illuminate the tree would happen.

“That’s part of the surprise,” she said. “You’ll just have to tune in. So grab some candy canes, cookies, and hot chocolate and join us on Facebook or TCTV for some holiday cheer.”