Brandon Ansley and Ang Cirullo share a kiss in front of the marquee.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The lights blinked to life on the city's Christmas tree on Wednesday, but they couldn't outshine the twinkling stones on Angela "Ang" Cirullo's finger.
Brandon Ansley had channeled Santa a little bit by kneeling in front of the city's main Christmas tree just minutes before to ask Cirullo marry him. Cirullo, who describes Ansley as her best friend, quickly said yes.
"We were talking about it but I didn't expect it," she said, adding Ansley had played coy by claiming he'd bought her so much for Christmas he couldn't get a ring this year.
Instead, the McCann Technical School graduate was making plans to surprise her in way she wouldn't forget.
"Everyone, they go out to eat, they get down on their knee," he said. "I wanted something that she will remember and I figured the tree lighting ... She supported me through everything and I figured why not make it a little bit better."
Everything came together on Wednesday but not before falling apart a few times. Ansley not only wanted to time the question to the tree lighting, he wanted to give Cirullo a sign of what was coming by using the historic marquee at the Mohawk Theater.
Instead of the announcement for the tree lighting, the marquee proclaimed "Ang Will You Marry Me."
"It was a last-minute thing," he said. His "great friend" Matt Sacco, a fellow volunteer firefighter in Clarksburg, helped him through contacting his father, Sgt. David Sacco, and tourism director Veronica Bosley.
"It was just amazing that everyone came together and helped me as much of possible," Ansley said. "It was one of those things where somethings fell apart ... with them canceling last week."
The engagement was supposed to happen last Wednesday on Thanksgiving Eve but cold, wet weather led the city to postpone the tree lighting.
At least the evening was nicer, with mild weather and no rain. But there were so many people crowded around the tree, Cirullo didn't notice the marquee. "I'm short," she laughed.
"He had to tell me to look at the sign. I didn't see it, there were people in my way," she said. "Then he told me to turn around and he's there on his knee."
Cirullo graduated from Drury High School in 2009 and Ansley is employed at North Adams Regional Hospital.
Friends and family congratulated the two (Cirullo's parents were in on the surprise), with one friend joking, "they closed down Main Street for him tonight."
Both said they were happy together, though Ansley said Cirullo seemed a little speechless.
"We've been together going on four years. It's been the happiest four years of my life," he said. "I love her, I love her with all my heart."
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