Where does the time go?? It seems like just yesterday it was Summer and we were basking in the warmth of the long days, and Thanksgiving and Christmas seemed a long way off. Now here it is November, Thanksgiving has gone by, and Christmas is so close you can taste it. In fact, it’s only 26 days away as of this writing, if that brings it into closer focus for ya! But it’s also time for three fun-filled events for our residents to enjoy: Wallingford Center, Inc.’s 9th Annual Holiday Stroll on Friday, December 1st, followed on Saturday, December 2nd by the 2nd annual Reindeer Rally and Seasons of Celebration .
To kick off this festive weekend, Wallingford Center, Inc. will hold their 9th annual Holiday Stroll, which includes their “Stroll, Shop, Win” event, a fantastic raffle with prizes of gift cards from many of the participating stores. First prize is $1,000, second place is $600, and third place is $400. How do you enter, you ask? Simple. Just stop into each of the participating merchants while you stroll and fill out a ballot. The more you stroll, the more places you visit, the more chances you have to win. Easy, right?
And if that wasn’t enough, many of the participating merchants will be offering in-store specials during the event and there will once again be activities at the gazebo in Johanna Fishbein Park, including a bonfire from 6pm – 9pm, roasted chestnuts, ice carvers and music provided by a DJ.
In addition, several more businesses and non-profits will will have booths set up in the HUBCAP office at 128 Center Street so people can go in and get to know them better.
And our office at 116 Center Street is also a drop-off point for Holiday For Giving, so if you have a new, unwrapped toy you’d like to donate to a needy child, feel free to bring it in and drop it in our collection box! We will also be serving non-alcoholic sangria and food provided courtesy of Panchero’s of Wallingford. Last by not least, we will have amazing photography on display and for sale by Wallingford photographer Mark Houde. Drop by to see Mark and his beautiful images!
For a list of holiday stroll participating merchants, CLICK HERE, and for a map of the Stroll with locations of the merchants, CLICK HERE. For more info, contact WCI at (203) 284-1807 or Wallingford Parks & Rec at (203) 294-2120.
Next up on Saturday, December 2nd is the Reindeer Rally, a one mile stroll through downtown Wallingford taking place from 10:30AM to 11:30AM and beginning and ending at Johanna Manfreda Fishbein Park. Breakfast sandwiches will be provided by Chick-Fil-A, and hot chocolate and coffee will also be available to all that participate.
Pre-registration is required for this event, and is already underway, with the first 100 to register receiving a free set of Reindeer Antlers to wear while strolling. Registration is $5.00 per person or $10.00 per family, or an unwrapped gift for a child, and can be done at Wallingford Park & Rec’s Youth and Social Services office or at Wallingford Center Inc. located at 128 Center Street. All proceeds from this event will be donated to Holiday For Giving to help Wallingford families in need.
The final event on Saturday, December 2nd is Seasons of Celebration, which kicks off at 1PM following the Reindeer Rally. This annual event started decades ago at the downtown train station as a meet-and-greet for Santa Claus, but in recent years has moved uptown and expanded to include a variety of fun activities. The town is sponsoring most of the activities, which are free, and most will take place in or around Town Hall.
Here’s list of the happenings:
- Kids can visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus from 1PM to 4:30PM in the foyer of Town Hall
- There will be a petting zoo and games for kids on the Parade Grounds from 1PM to 4PM
- Elf Houses will also be on display
- The North Farms Volunteer Fire Department will collect toys for Wallingford children from 1PM to 3PM
- Hot cocoa. popcorn and cookies to keep you warm and toasty will be available from 1PM until they run out
- A photo booth will be open from 2PM to 5PM, courtesy of Show Stopper Entertainment
- Horse-drawn carriage rides will be offered in front of Town Hall from 1PM to 4PM
- Roaming railroad train for the kids from 1:00PM to 4PM
- The Yankee Chorus will sing Christmas carols from 2PM to 3PM
- Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, 1PM to 4PM
- The “Frosty Parade” will start at 5:00PM and will feature Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Santa’s Elves and the Toy Soldiers
- The Wallingford Chorus will sing carols at the gazebo in Fishbein Park at 5:15PM, followed by a reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Wallingford Mayor William Dickinson, Jr.
- The Christmas tree lighting ceremony will take place at approximately 5:30-5:45PM in front of the railroad station
This year’s holiday events again promise to be fun for kids of all ages and an exciting kick-off to the town’s holiday celebration. While we hope for good weather, would it be blasphemous to wish for just a little bit of snow? Regardless of the forecast, we hope for a great turnout and hope to see you there!