GREENWICH — Seasonal revelers can walk a little further as they take in the Holday Stroll this year.
Back this weekend, the Greenwich Holiday Stroll will expand to Byram, Cos Cob and Riverside, where participating merchants and organizations will entertain attendees with live music. For its first nine years, the stroll was focused soley on Greenwich Avenue and the central business district.
“We had received so much feedback from merchants outside of central Greenwich,” said Tamara Ketler, head of TMK Sports and Entertainment, the event’s producer. “They said they wanted to be a part of this event and when we put the word out to see who was interested, we got a great response.”
TMK also produces the annual Reindeer Festival, which is located at Sam Bridge Nursery on North Street and features live reindeer along with rides for kids.
Beyond traditional Greenwich Avenue events including horse drawn carriage rides, ice sculpting, live music, food trucks and a live Nativity on East Putnam Avenue, this year’s stroll will feature live music at many other places including Balducci’s in Riverside and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Byram.
Ketler said she is happy to see the growth in the stroll’s tenth year, as the goal has always been to promote Greenwich as “a shopping and dining destination.”
“It’s really exciting,” she said. “It’s about promoting all of the amazing merchants in Central Greenwich and now Byram, Cos Cob and Riverside. It’s a community event and an event that brings in people from all over Connecticut as well as New York and New Jersey to showcase Greenwich.”
Also new this year, more than 30 area non-profits, including Abilis, Meals on Wheels, Family Centers and the Transportation Association of Greenwich, will team up with participating merchants for partnerships. In some cases, non-profits will receive a share of proceeds from their sponsoring merchant, in others a chance to promote their work in the community.
“What better time than the season of giving to focus on non-profits here in town,” Ketler said.
As part of the event, there will be free parking on Greenwich Avenue on Saturday. The town does not enforce the Greenwich Avenue meters on Sundays.
A full list of all participating merchants and organizations and affiliated events throughout town is online at www.greenwichreindeerfestival.com. The hours for the holiday stroll will be Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
Physical copes of the map will also be available during the stroll and can be picked up now at Town Hall as well as at Greenwich Library, Whole Foods and all of the participating merchants.
The holiday stroll is not the only holiday event scheduled for the weekend. On Saturday Byram will hold its annual tree lighting and open house at Byram Shubert Library starting at 4 p.m. with live music and family friendly events followed by a pot luck supper at the library.
Saturday is also the day for Old Greenwich’s annual First Light celebration, which will take place on a portion of Sound Beach Avenue from 5 to 8 p.m. allowing people to mingle in the street, enjoy horse drawn carriage rides and stop in on local businesses who will offer special holiday features.