The Very Merry Dickens Carolers, pictured during last year's Holiday Stroll, will be back again this year. (Photo/Ernest A. Brown)
WOONSOCKET â€“ The peak of the holiday season is nearly here, and with it, the annual Holiday Stroll on Main Street Dec. 11.
The event will dress up Main Street with holiday lights and decorations as part of the annual tree lighting and arrival of Santa Claus at his house in the mini-park near Harris Hall.
The tree lighting and Santaâ€™s arrival will be held at approximately 5 p.m., and most people will start arriving for a good viewing spot around 4:30 p.m., according to Linda S. Plays of the cityâ€™s Department of Human Services and the Main Street/Riverside Initiative.
â€śWe are going to have so many things going on, there are so many groups involved,â€ť Plays said of this yearâ€™s Stroll.
â€śWeâ€™ve been doing the Stroll for five years now, and every year it gets bigger and bigger,â€ť she said.
Although last-minute plans are still being worked out, Plays said the Very Merry Dickens Carolers will be back this year, helping to the give the evening a distinct Victorian feel and one in keeping with the many 19th-century and turn-of-the-century buildings still to be found along Main Street. Entertainment for the stroll will also include the Good Shepherd Catholic Regional School Choir and Beacon Charter High School Glee Club, who will also serve as roving carolers in period costumes.
The Woonsocket Police will be manning their collection booth in the mini-park as part of their annual toy drive for disadvantaged children, and people coming to Main Street can bring along a new unwrapped toy if they would like to help out.
Participants in the stroll will be able to get a calendar of locations along Main Street where they can obtain stamps needed to earn discounts from Main Street businesses, Plays said. Local scouting groups will be on hand to sell holiday wreaths, and a number of vendors will also be offering craft goods and special holiday items along Main Street, according to Plays.
Main Street restaurants will have special Main Street Stroll meal offerings and discounts, and Plays said an information booth will be set up offering visitors maps of all the available activities that they can take with them.
Plays said she expects this yearâ€™s Stroll to be another busy evening for the Main Street business district. In addition to the Stroll activities running from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., the final event of the cityâ€™s 125th Anniversary Celebration, Last Night, will be held in the cityâ€™s Mullen Parking Lot opposite The Call and features an added list of entertainment, food concessions and special activities that will all come together for a big holiday celebration on Main Street.
â€śI always anticipate a great evening. Iâ€™m looking forward to an even bigger crowd this year,â€ť she said of the expected addition of even more participating groups and organizations.
â€śItâ€™s more than hot chocolate and cookies, itâ€™s an opportunity to visit restaurants, enjoy some entertainment and to do some shopping,â€ť she said. â€śItâ€™s a great community event.â€ť