Shrewsbury group to host European-style ‘Yuletide Market’

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Yuletide Market/Light up The Common Host Committee at Shrewsbury Town Common
Photo/Melanie Petrucci

Shrewsbury – Imagine meeting your friends for an evening of holiday cheer in an outdoor market with a beer garden? Maybe a warm beverage and some holiday music? How about adding twinkling lights on the Town Common?

The Shrewsbury Town Center Association (STCA) is inviting the community to its first Yuletide Market featuring the inaugural Light the Common, Saturday, Dec. 7, from 4 to 8 p.m.

Inspired by traditional European Christmas markets, the Yuletide Market is presented by Chiampa Funeral Home and will take place in their parking lot off of Church Road. The Light the Common is presented by Shrewsbury Federal Credit Union.

Festivities will begin at 4 p.m. at the Common, when Maribeth Lynch, chair of the STCA and co-chair of the event, will welcome attendees. This will be followed by the official “flip of the switch” at sundown accompanied by bells from the First Congregation Church bell tower.

The Host Committee includes co-chairs Lynch, Moira Miller, Ellen Dolan, Stephanie Luz, Susan Gregory, Lee Abdella, Kim Cantin and Melanie Petrucci.

When asked how the idea for the Yuletide Market came about, Lynch replied, “We had started the STCA and began discussing ways to bring the community together. We realized that we were a town that had no winter celebration and so we started to research winter markets. The concept was appealing from the start.”

“We had first focused on planning the Yuletide Market and were meeting with town officials relative to safety when the topic of Christmas lights came up,” she continued.

Members of the STCA brainstormed to find a way to bring lights to the common. The first hurdle was that the common didn’t have any electricity. It does now, because of a cooperative effort between the STCA, town officials, SELCO, Shrewsbury Parks & Recreation, Favulli Electric and American Spot Cooling.

The Yuletide Market will be conducive for holiday shopping with carefully selected vendors featuring items for sale, many with a Shrewsbury focus.

There will be food trucks, warm beverages and a beer garden by Greater Good Imperial Brewing Company. (Note: IDs will be checked to purchase alcoholic beverages regardless of age.)

Other attractions include a Boy Scout Troop 114 fundraiser with hot cocoa, pretzels and holiday cookies; the Shrewsbury Fire Department’s Fire House Chili; and Shrewsbury Historical Society items for sale at their open house from 3-5 p.m. Local authors April Jones Prince and Michael Perna will sign their latest books which will be available to purchase.

“We see this becoming an annual event and establishing the town center as a destination for people to enjoy during the holiday season,” Miller said. “This fits with the STCA objective to foster economic and cultural development in the town center.”

Parking will be available at the Town Hall/Senior Center and there will be shuttles running to and from the common. Other parking options will be listed on the STCA website.  To learn more, and to view a complete list of sponsors, vendors and activities, visit www.shrewsburytca.com.