Thursday, January 27, 2022

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Ivoryton Illuminations Returns for 12th Year on Dec. 1

Although Santa will not be making an appearance at a kick-off event this year, Ivoryton’s 12th annual display of lights, Ivoryton Illuminations, will run for the month of December, starting on Dec. 1.

With the state’s COVID infection rate climbing in recent weeks, event organizers made a decision to cancel indoor festivities for a second year.

“We didn’t have an event last year either, but it was amazing how many kids came out every night in the middle of COVID,” said Chris Shane, president of the Ivoryton Village Alliance, the group responsible for organizing the event.

“People just wanted to do something and wanted to be safe,” he continued. “The illuminations actually performed that for them because they could go outside and be safe and still enjoy the lights and we’re expecting the same thing again this year.”

A computer system that synchronizes the light display to music is another important part of the tradition.

“If you turn your car radio to 101.5 FM, you’ll be hearing the Christmas songs that the lights are dancing to and, again, that’s always been a huge success,” said Shane.

There are approximately half a million lights on display at the Ivoryton Green for Ivoryton Illuminations, with an impressive evergreen as a main attraction.

“The Christmas tree is one of the centerpieces of the whole thing,” said Shane.

This year, the Essex Fire Engine Company No. 1 helped adorn the tree with lights, using Ladder Truck 1.

In addition, a group of about 20 volunteers wrap and string all of the lights on the green and throughout the village, amounting to 500 hours of community service, said Shane.

“The big change this year is bringing in younger people for volunteers,” said Shane, who adds that volunteers are always needed.

People interested in volunteering can email for more information.

The 2021 Ivoryton Illuminations is sponsored by Privé-Swiss Wellness and the Essex Fire Department.

Elizabeth Reinhart covers news for Chester, Deep River, and Essex for Zip06. Email Elizabeth at

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