By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Westborough – For the second year in a row, the Westborough Economic Development Committee is partnering with the town’s Recreation Department to host a Holiday Stroll on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 27. That evening, the Rotary Club of Westborough will also sponsor its annual Festival of Lights, which has become a favorite for the town’s families and a beloved way to start the holiday season. For many years, the club has, as a service project, provided funding for the lights to be lit up in the trees in the downtown area.
Nearly 1,000 people attended last year’s event and the organizers are hoping this year’s will be even more exciting.
The Holiday Stroll will begin at 3 p.m. with a special reading from “Mrs. Claus” (aka Maureen Ambrosino, director of the Westborough Public Library) at the library, 55 W. Main St. Readings will continue to take place every 15 minutes or so. Families are then invited to peruse vendor booths along Main Street which will be hosted by local businesses and nonprofits.
The vendor booths are an extension of the holiday weekend’s traditional shopping days, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, according to Francisco Torres, the town’s economic development coordinator.
“It’s just a nice way for residents to continue to support local businesses and come back to the downtown on Sunday for some holiday fun,” he said.
Each vendor will also have a special activity for kids, he added. Last year some of the activities were making balloon animals, putting tinsel in hair, and writing letters to Santa. Other business passed out cookies and hot chocolate.
Any businesses who wish to participate as a vendor this year should contact Torres at 508-871-5149 or [email protected]/ There is no charge for Westborough businesses.
A number of food vendors will also be participating so attendees can get a snack. The local band, SnG, will be playing throughout the afternoon as well.
At approximately 5 p.m. a parade featuring cars and trucks bedecked with holiday lights (plugged into a portable generator in each vehicle) will travel down West Main Street. Alan Grady, director of the Recreation Department, is encouraging everyone to consider joining in this year.
“Anyone can be in this, whether it is a group of neighbors, an organization, or a business,” he said.
The parade will start at School Street, travel down West Main Street and then circle the rotary.
Those wishing to be part of the parade should contact Grady at 508-366-3066 or [email protected].
Santa Claus will be at the very end of the parade, with his sled on a truck driven by Harvey’s Farm and Garden Center. Once at the rotary, he will oversee the countdown to the holiday lights being turned on throughout the downtown. He will then go to his special chair, where, assisted by Rotarians, he will pose for photos with children and hear their holiday wishes. (Parents should bring their own cameras.)
This year Rotarian Gary Kelly will once again be a major sponsor of the Holiday Stroll events, Grady said.
“He has very generously offered to help us with any of our costs,” he said. “We are very grateful to him for his support.”