Annual Holiday Stroll promises crafts, food, caroling and Santa

Editor’s note: This story and schedule was updated on Dec. 3.
VERGENNES — Community will be the watchword of the day on Dec. 5 when loads of residents of Vergennes and surrounding towns gather in the Little City for the 10th annual Holiday Stroll.
Chat with Santa over breakfast, fill your gift bag with local crafts, and enjoy songs and music with friends at the Vergennes Holiday Stroll. Participants will enjoy a festive collection of activities ranging from a fantastic Winter Craft Fair to the display of thousands of holiday lights on a moving cement mixer.
On Dec. 5 the fun starts at 8 a.m. with a pancake breakfast at the Vergennes Union High School and goes all day to 5:30 p.m. in Vergennes City Park where Mayor Bill Benton will preside over the tree lighting.
A few of the event highlights include breakfast with Santa at the VUHS cafeteria beginning at 8 a.m. The 15th annual Winter Holiday Craft Fair at Vergennes Union Elementary School will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
There are plenty of things for the kids, and for the young at heart. Santa will be at the Bixby Library at 10:30 a.m. to read the classic holiday story “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Vermont musician Jon Gailmore will follow with a concert at noon. Still want more singing? The talented women’s singing group Maiden Vermont will provide barbershop-style songs at 1 p.m. at the library.
While you’re at the library, check out the holiday gift basket silent auction, which closes at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
For the history buffs, the Vergennes Historical Society is sponsoring a visit by Father Time at the Clock Shop on Green Street from 11 a.m. to noon.
To see more of the fat man in the red suit — and his wife — head over to the Vergennes Opera House from noon to 3 p.m. to visit Santa’s Village. You can take photos with His Jolliness and listen to Mrs. Claus read stories. Don’t forget to drop off your letters to Santa. Students from the Northlands Job Corps will lead holiday craft-making for the youngsters. The Vergennes Partnership will sell commemorative ornaments.
New this year is an ugly sweater contest. Wear your “best” holiday sweater and make your big reveal when the contest starts at 2:30 p.m.
Entrants in the Second Annual Gingerbread House Exhibition will be on display all day on Main Street next to Luigi’s. See who the judges picked as the winner.
The celebration on the city green starting at 3 p.m. will include caroling and a sing-along at the bandstand. The Victory Baptist Church Choir, The Ambrose Sisters and The Sullivan Singers will all provide entertainment, and they would love it if you would sing along.
The Vermont Army National Guard will provide hot cocoa and popcorn. Enjoy smores will you warn your hands and faces around a fire pit.
This is the time to get into the spirit of the holiday and give a little to those in need. Bring wrapped toys, coats, mittens, hats and foodstuffs and donate them for distribution to those in need. The Vergennes Area Rescue Squad will be on hand to collect these items.
As darkness fall, look up Main Street for the SD Ireland cement truck to come ambling along with its thousands of lights winking and blinking.
The stroll culminates a little with the lighting of City Park at 5:30 p.m. 

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