Last Thursday evening hundreds of people of all ages gathered at 50 Washington St. for the city'a annual Christmas tree lighting.
While business people in SoNo have held tree lightings over the years -- the last one was in 2006 -- the city's official tree lighting hasn't taken place there since the 1980s.
"How about this, we are back in SoNo to light the tree. Rockefeller Center was nice last night but this is even better. We got our own Rockefeller Center," said mayor Richard Moccia, who also acknowledged Colin and Nicole Grotheer, the Norwalk residents who donated the 35-foot tree.
"It's exciting. It's one of those things that is fairly innocuous, but then it turns out being a great thing for the community as well as yourself. You just don't realize you will have such a contribution with such a simple thing," Colin Grotheer told the Citizen days before the tree lighting took place.
"My wife and I are happy to try and renew a tradition that's kind of vanished from the downtown neighborhood and be a part of this reemergence of activity in the SoNo area. I hope these efforts continue to pay dividends for the city."
The SoNo Collaborative, a collection of local businesses, residents and other SoNo enthusiasts who serve as the "voice" of SoNo, from simplifying parking to organizing SoNo arts events, pushed for the city's tree lighting to take place in SoNo again this year.
"The park acts as an epicenter of SoNo and if we don't use it for the good of the community, then we may not like how it is used otherwise. The tree lighting is a good thing for SoNo and good for all of Norwalk," Stacey Hascoe, a member of the SoNo Collaborative, said.