NEW MILFORD — One of the most popular traditions of the holiday season is the tree lighting on the Village Green.

Unfortunately, this year, due to the pandemic, the event will be held virtually.

The Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce will sponsor the annual tree lighting ceremony Nov. 28 at 5:30 p.m. at

Mayor Pete Bass, members of the United Methodist Church’s Men’s Club and directors of the Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce will light the trees on the Village Green during the event that traditionally draws a large crowd.

This year marks the 54th anniversary of the lighting of the trees on the Green.

Small Business Saturday, founded in 2010, is also Nov. 28. The day encourages people to shop at small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

The tradition of the trees on the Green was started by Walter Schutte in 1967 and the practice continues in his memory.

Over the years, many people have come from near and far to view the trees.

Members of the New Milford United Methodist Men’s Club and other church members donate their time and effort to cut the trees down, place them on the Green, string the wires and the lights, and take them down shortly after New Year’s.

Church members especially remember Dave Kullgren, who played an active role in the club and the tree programs. He died earlier this year.

Contributions for lights and other essentials help to keep this tradition alive.

Donations may be made to the New Milford United Methodist Men Club, 68 Danbury Road, New Milford, CT 06776.

The New Milford United Methodist Men's Club also sells Christmas trees at the church during the month of December. However, due to COVID, trees will not be sold this year.