SHREWSBURY – With a flip of a switch, Shrewsbury’s Town Center was filled with the glow of holiday lights wrapped around trees, Dec. 4.
That moment was part of a larger evening of celebration in Shrewsbury as the town celebrated its annual “Light the Common” and “Yuletide Market” events, which were hosted by the Shrewsbury Town Center Association (STCA) in the Town Common and at the nearby Chiampa Funeral Home.
“Two years ago when we did this the first time, it was amazing,” said organizer Melanie Petrucci. “We were so excited to do it again, but then COVID hit, of course.”
The Town Center Association still lit its display last year, promising a creation that was “bigger and brighter” than its first display to help lift spirits and bring joy to Shrewsbury residents.
With COVID-19 vaccinations available and the community reopening, this year, the association then decided to move forward with its 2021 holiday plans.
“Our goal was just to bring the community together,” Petrucci said. “[It’s] a great way to bring people together, celebrate what Shrewsbury is and light up the common with joy and hope. It’s really that simple.”
Individuals gathered in front of the Town Common gazebo, Dec. 4, to watch as artist Eric Fontecchio sculpted two bears out of ice. Nearby, a man juggled torches before he knelt on the ground to blow fire.
Meanwhile, in the Yuletide Market, residents wandered between stalls, sampling mulled wine and beer from The Greater Good Imperial Brewing Company and enjoying food from various food trucks and organizations such as the Shrewsbury Fire Department and Boy Scout Troop 114.
Petrucci thanked the town, Chiampa and the nearby First Congregational Church, whose carillon of bells rang out over the common.
For Petrucci, her favorite part of all this is the opportunity to walk around the event and see smiles on the faces of children.
“This is bringing people of all ages together,” Petrucci said. “It’s a family-friendly event and has a little bit of something for everyone.”