BRISTOL - From visits with Santa Claus to horse-drawn carriage rides, the fourth annual âWhite Christmas in the Communityâ event, Dec. 6 in Downtown Southington and Plantsville, is âchock-full of holiday spirit and free activities and offerings for all agesâ says event committee member Dawn Miceli.
White Christmas in the Community will be held from 5 to 8:30 p.m. There will be plenty of Christmas fun to be had at both locations, including horse-drawn carriage rides, an ornament-making craft activity, live ice sculpting sponsored by Bristol Health, caroling and goat parades featuring the Bradley Mountain Farm âgoat ambassadors.â
Miceli referred to the event as a âNorman Rockwellâ type event that showcases the best of Southingtonâs community spirit and volunteerism.
âItâs always a great event to showcase both of our gateways into town in the village of Plantsville and downtown Southington,â said Miceli. âWe did quite a bit of fundraising this year to have our live ice sculpture and drum circle - weâre always thinking of new things to add every year. Thereâs also an economic development component as we are proud to showcase our restaurants, our businesses, or banks and our churches.â
Miceli said the event will begin in both locations with the annual tree lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m.
âTwo winners from the townâs âLight Up the Greenâ contest will flip the switch of the holiday light displays on the Southington and Plantsville town greens,â she said. âMembers of the Southington High School cheerleading squad will sing carols on the town green and Cub Scouts from Pack 8 will do the same on the Plantsville green.â
The two sites will be connected by hay rides along the Linear Trail and a trolley car that runs along Route 10. Festival-goers can hop on the hayride at locations at Zingarella Pizzeria and Factory Square at lower Center Street. Members of the local Lions Club will be volunteering to help patrons on and off. The hayrides will be pulled by tractors from Lewis Educational Agricultural Farm.
âThe Farmington Canal Linear Trail will once again be lit up with holiday village scenes and the five specially built steel-framed structures of light,â said Miceli. âCome and enjoy our 7-foot-tall prancing horse, 7-foot-tall moose, 6-foot-tall bear, 6-foot-tall apple, and 7- foot-tall deer, all of which will be flanking Linear Trail.â
Miceli said that White Christmas in the Community is the result of the combining of two long-running annual, family-oriented celebrations by the Merchants of Downtown Southington and the Village of Plantsville Association. Businesses in both locations will open their doors to the public, offering varying forms of holiday treats and entertainment. A map detailing offerings and locations will be available during the event.
Some activities include ornament-making, which will be held in the former Plantsville Pharmacy building on West Main Street and Southington Community Cultural Arts in downtown Southington. Additionally, the Barnes Museum will host holiday house tours featuring this yearâs theme of âChristmas Memories.â Free hot apple cider will be offered thanks to Shop Rite of Southington and the Chamber Singers will perform at the Barnes Museum at 6 p.m.
People can look forward to roasting chestnuts over an open fire at Faith Living Church in Plantsville and a drum circle and âfire ballâ coordinated by Southington Public Schools physical education teacher Eric Korp.
Wreath-making workshops will also be offered by members of LEAF, with assistance by representatives from the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain who will also have their âphilanthropy wheelâ on site.
The philanthropy wheel allows patrons to spin the wheel and have monies donated on their behalf to a Southington charity of their choice (those that are affiliated with the community foundation).
âBack again is the popular Mr. Magic, who performs continually on all trolley car runs as they traverse Route 10 between the two locations,â said Miceli. âThere will also be visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Touch-A-Firetruck and a mini holiday touch-a-truck provided by Southington PowerSports, letter-writing to Santa, face painting, balloon animals, refreshments and more.â
The White Christmas in the Community Steering Committee is made up of Joanne Alfieri, Dolores Fanelli, Rob Flood, Dawn Miceli, and Susan Urillo Larson.
âThe committee thanks the various local sponsors who make this event possible,â said Miceli.
Shuttle busses, provided by the Calendar House, will have pick-up and drop-off locations at Riccio Way, Southington Public Library and Clock Tower Square.
For more information, check the White Christmas in the Community Facebook page.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or .