By Michael Schaffer - Managing editor
The citizens of Mystic gathered at the Community Center from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 to celebrate the first city-wide Christmas festival and the city's 125th year of existence, from 1887 to 2012.
It just wasn't Saturday, as Mystic residents dolled up their homes in the hope they would be selected winner of the lighted Christmas contest.
The winner of the Christmas decorating contest was Jim and Carissa Hatfield, 103 High St.
The first ever city-wide Christmas festival according to city officials is the brain child of Mystic city clerk Amy Moorman.
"This is our first year and we're trying to grow," Moorman said. "I believe each year it will grow bigger and bigger."
Moorman said the proceeds from the Christmas tree silent auction and raffle will go to pay for the purchase of the massive Christmas display the city of Mystic made from Marge and Darrell Pfannebecker, of Centerville. Mystic now has most of those Christmas decorations up for citizens and visitors to enjoy.
Part of Saturday's festival was a canned food drive for four deserving families who live in Mystic.
The Mystic Masons Lodge, Mystic American Legion, Highland Cemetery Association, the city employees, Mystic Fire Department and two anonymous donated Christmas trees for the silent auction.
Raffle items included baked goods, framed photos, wreaths, cookbooks, baskets, bird houses, Christmas lights, quilts, clothing and figurines.
Mystic's mayor and one councilman said Moorman has been the driving force behind the the new Christmas festival.
"She's pretty much done all of it," Mystic city councilman Rick Thomas said Saturday. "She's thought of pretty much everything."
Chris Chester, Mystic mayor, called it "Amy's shindig.
"I just help out anyway I can," Chester said. "We've got a new city clerk and she came up with the idea."
Chester said it took three days to put up the lights and decorations around the city. Sometime soon the city hopes to have two large outdoor speakers installed that will play Christmas music during the day and early evening, Chester said.
Mystic resident Jim Buban and the Masonic Lodge are allowing the city to use their electricity to power the lights and decorations, Chester said.
"We're hoping we can turn it into a tradition," Chester said.