Celebrating “Christmas in the Village”

LAKEWOOD – Local business owners and officials celebrated its annual “Christmas in the Village” Saturday, keeping a tradition of rallying the community to celebrate the holiday season.

The status of the celebration was in limbo after ex-Lakewood mayor Cara Birrittieri resigned, suddenly, earlier this year.

Local businessman Bob Lingle, who owns the Off the Beaten Path bookstore, jumped in to keep the tradition alive.

Lingle said he recently learned of the tradition’s existence, and he realized he wanted to be a part of the celebration.

“People were asking, ‘Is Christmas in the Village still happening,’ and I’m actually a newer owner to the store (store has existed for 10 years, but Lingle became owner in March),” Lingle said. “To be honest, I wasn’t aware that “Christmas in the Village” was a thing, but when I saw the people’s disappointment, I decided we really need to do something to make sure it still happens.”

Vince Liuzzo, a chainsaw artist at Sherwood Arts Complex, said the chainsaw is an item that often excites people.

“The chainsaw is an excited tool, and I learned how to use it climbing trees and doing tree service work,” Liuzzo said. “For me, it’s kind of just part of the job, but for other people kind of unfamiliar with it, it’s pretty exciting.”

Liuzzo said that Sherwood Arts Complex often does charitable work for various community ventures. He added that people have until Friday to pick up a raffle ticket to help fund the Lakewood library.

The tickets can be picked up at the Off the Beaten Path bookstore.