GLOCESTER – Christmastime in a Glocester village started Sunday evening at the Harmony Fire Department on Putnam Pike, as a festive crowd gathered for the annual tree lighting and celebration.
The lighting of the decorated tree outside the fire station is when, “the town, the village of Harmony Fire Department, gives back,” said Chief Richard Waterman.
With Christmas presents for the children, as well as clowns, a magician, and a visit from Santa Claus entertaining everyone, the event is an opportunity for neighbors to meet the volunteer firefighters and EMTs that serve in Harmony, said Waterman.
“This brings the community together, the way it used to be,” Waterman said in between cheerfully greeting visitors to the fire station.
The gathering was a display of community spirit in the town where Waterman has served for the past six years.
“All volunteers are committed to being in this department because they love being here,” he said.
Visitors also got the chance to peep into the inner workings of the department.
“We show the taxpayers the fire station,” Waterman said of the Glocester residents, and other visitors, streaming in.
He added the gifts, the entertainment, a table full of holiday treats to eat – and everything of the evening– cost the guests nothing. Navigant Bank is a contributor to the annual event, he noted.
Among the townspeople celebrating the beginning of the Christmas season at the station was George Kain and his wife Stephanie Kain.
The current moderator of the Harmony Fire District Board, George Kain has been volunteering since 1965.
“A lot of guys I knew joined,” said Kain. “It’s a good gathering of people, and a good learning experience.”
Kain said a major difference since he started with the fire department is that it is, “a lot busier now.”
However, one thing has remained the same: “There’s still a good spirit among the crew, ” added Kain.
That spirit, and the holiday spirit as well, seemed evident in the laughter of the dozens of children, and the lively friendly conversations on Sunday among the adults.