Vergennes Holiday Stroll to take place this Saturday

VERGENNES — The holiday lights on the Vergennes City Green this Saturday promise to be better than ever.
The “Light Up the Night” festivities are a climax each year to the Vergennes Holiday Stroll. Folks that come to Vergennes to kick off the season should be delighted with a whole day of activities in the Little City.
Shannon Mahoney has organized the light spectacular this year. She was joined by some members of the Northlands Job Corps Urban Forestry program, as well as professionals from Barretts Tree Service, who put up the Burlington marketplace lights, to give the tall trees on the green some extra sparkle.
Mahoney, co-owner of Raintree in downtown Vergennes, was excited to work on the Vergennes holiday celebration.
“I grew up near Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania and the Christmas lights there are pure magic and one of my favorite childhood memories,” she said. “In talking with locals, everyone seems to have a childhood Christmas lights memory. I decided that we need some Christmas magic here in our little city.”
On Tuesday, Mahoney and crew were on the green getting the lights ready for the official lighting ceremony late Saturday afternoon.
But that will follow a whole day of activity.
The Vergennes Holiday Stroll kicks off early. Santa starts a busy day at the Vergennes Union High School cafeteria at a pancake breakfast from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Admission is $7 adults; $5 children under 12 years old. There will be craft activities for the kids.
After breakfast, see what’s on offer at the 14th annual Winter Holiday Craft Fair at Vergennes Union Elementary School, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The price of admission is $3 or present a canned goods or other non-perishable foodstuff for the local food shelf. This is a well-organized craft fair with lots of great stuff.
Bixby Memorial Library will host a holiday open house from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., which will include a silent auction of holiday baskets donated by local businesses and library patrons.
At the library, Santa will read Clement Moore’s classic poem, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” at around 10:45 a.m. Then Vermont singer/songwriter Jon Gailmor will entertain the jolly makers at the library around 11 a.m. Jon has delighted generations of families throughout the state for many years. He travels down from his Northeast Kingdom home to spend this special Saturday morning with the Vergennes community. Come and sing along and lift your spirit.
After some holiday refreshments, the wonderful Addison County-based women’s barbershop chorus Maiden Vermont will perform at Bixby from 1-1:30 p.m. Bidding on the goody-filled baskets closes at 1:45, with winners announced at 2 p.m.
After Santa leaves the Bixby he will be going to the North Pole! In this case, it is a replica North Pole at St. Paul’s Parish Hall, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m sw. Kids can get their pictures taken with Santa (Kinney Drugs in Vergennes has generously donated one picture per child). Anna Charlebois-Ouellette will be providing a holiday craft for children to do while waiting as well as the Letters to Santa table. The North Pole Mailbox will be there so kids can get their letters to Santa the official way.
Night falls early in December and people in Vergennes will gather to mark the coming of the darkness with celebrations in City Park from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. There will be fire pits, s’mores kits, a photo booth, carolers and more Santa Claus.
The evening ends with an appearance by the dazzling SD Ireland Holiday cement truck, which will be bedecked with hundreds and hundreds of Christmas lights — it is breathtaking.
SOME 25,000 CHRISTMAS lights will adorn the SD Ireland cement truck when it drives up to the City Green late this Saturday afternoon during the culminating event of the Vergennes Holiday Stroll.
The Light The Night is organized and sponsored by Raintree, Malabar, Basin Harbor the City of Vergennes with additional donations from local businesses, residents and organizations of Vergennes — so many people in the community. If you want to get involved and make a donation to Light the Night please contact Mahoney at Raintree in Vergennes.
Mahoney will be looking for the lights to shine in the trees on the green during this activity.
“My daughter is 4 and I can’t wait to have her see the lights turn on this Saturday,” she said.

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