To me the holiday season doesn’t really start until two things happen. One, I need to eat a ton of turkey and then get through the inevitable drowsy spell that follows. The second important element to kick-start holidays for me is to attend the Eli Cannon’s Taproom Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. I did both this year, and I’m pleased to say that this year’s Tree Lighting was the biggest and the best so far.
For those not in the know, Eli Cannon’s Taproom has a festive celebration outside the building every year to celebrate the coming holidays, and to officially light the trees that proudly stand out front. This year, as mentioned, was another great success. There was hot chocolate served by the Eli Cannon elves, music playing merrily, all the while the crowd milled around to keep warm. Beer flowed freely and the vibe was light and excited. Soon enough, just before 8, we all got a new treat for this year: the Middletown PBA Pipes & Drum organization came out in full kilt regalia with bagpipes and drums to help play Santa in!
Santa, as in previous years, rode in on a horse drawn carriage, and then took center stage outside the bar with Phil Ouellette (Eli Cannon’s owner), Middletown mayor Dan Drew, and other dignitaries from the town of Middletown. Ouellette spoke first, thanking the administration for all its help in cementing Eli Cannon’s and NoRA cupcakes as a North End facets. Ouellette then went on to express how he is still adamant about making the North End better and better every year. Mayor Dan Drew then expressed Happy Holidays to all, and with that it was time for Santa to light the trees!
With a flash of blinding holiday cheer and the roar of the crowd (mixing with cheerful holiday music coming over the speakers), the facade of Eli Cannon’s lit up and down came glittering holiday-appropriate snow (I believe potato flakes and glitter).
But there was still more! After this people could either get some more beer at Elis, or walk across the street to NoRA, grab a cupcake, and say hello to Santa. At the end of the night, it was a friendly, fun, holiday-filled evening for all – a evening SO filled with the holiday spirit that even the grinchiest person would find a smile creeping over their face at the end of the evening (whether due to the Christmas music, beer, cupcakes, or a mix of all three).
Needless to say, I’ll be there again next year. Be sure to follow me on on Blogger, Twitter, and Facebook for more brewery news, info, and beer ravings!