Lights, Cameras, Christmas! Area Towns Celebrate
By Mina Corpuz
FITCHBURG -- Santa will light more Christmas trees in downtown Saturday at the city’s annual tree lighting ceremony.
Instead of the usual two trees, six will be decorated with lights, said Joan David, administrative assistant to Mayor Stephen DiNatale.
“It will certainly make a bigger statement,” she said.
The Seventh Annual Tree Lighting will take place at 6 p.m. on the Upper Common.
David said the Holiday Decorating Committee was able to raise more money this year -- about $17,000 -- to put lights on the big trees on the common. The gazebo, shrubbery, and light poles in the area will also have holiday lights and decorative bows, she said.
As part of Saturday’s ceremony, there will be holiday activities for children and families in the afternoon and evening.
There will be crafts at the Senior Center at 14 Wallace Ave. from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. for children to decorate ornaments and write letters to Santa that can be dropped off at the red mailbox in front of the Fitchburg Post Office.
People can sing carols with the Fitchburg High School Chorus and Band at Monument Park on Main Street at 5:30 p.m. to wait for Santa, who will arrive by fire truck.
At 6 p.m., they can follow Santa to the Upper Common for the tree lighting. There will be music and hot chocolate available.
Earlier in the day the Fitchburg Historical Society will host a tour of 13 buildings from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased through the Historical Society, Mayor’s office, and local merchants. For information, contact the Historical Society at 978-345-1157.
Other communities in the area will hold holiday celebrations:
* Ashburnham: Friday, 5:30 p.m., Town Hall Common. There will be a Santa Parade, caroling from the Girl Scouts. The tree lighting will take place at about 6 p.m. Town Hall will be open for activities on each floor and pictures with Santa on the top floor. Complimentary hot cocoa and cookies will be available.
* Ashby: Sunday, 4 p.m., Ashby Common. Following the ceremony, the First Parish Church will host its free community dinner featuring traditional beef stew.
* Lancaster: Friday, 6:30 p.m., town green
* Leominster: Saturday, 3 p.m., downtown. Winter Stroll with a parade of lights at 4:45 p.m. and the Mayor’s tree lighting at 5 p.m.
* Townsend: Sunday, 4:30 p.m., town common. Following a countdown and special visitor, the tree will be lit. The ceremony then moves inside Townsend Congregational Church for an indoor music program and a traditional “hobo stew” meal.
Shirley and Westminster held holiday lighting ceremonies on Nov. 25. Lunenburg held its tree lighting Thursday at the town gazebo.
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