Lighting the lights at White Christmas in the Community

Town workers are focused on the finishing touches with the lights strung on both town greens, and the rail-trail is already decorated for Friday’s main event.

On Monday, interim Town Manager Mark Sciota reached into a container to draw two lucky names from the 176 eligible entries in the Recreation Department’s annual Light Up the Green contest.

Now, all that’s left is the wait. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in downtown Plantsville and Southington.

This year’s event will be staggered, so visitors can enjoy the lighting ceremonies at both venues.

On Friday, Dec. 1, five-year-old Cecilia DiGovanni of Southington will open the White Christmas in the Community event when she “flips the switch” in the Village of Plantsville at 5:30 p.m. An hour later (at 6:30 p.m.), four-year-old Emma Marques of Plantsville will turn on the display on the Southington town green.

Officials expect as many as 5,000 visitors at the local lighting event, presented by The Village of Plantsville Association and the Merchants of Downtown Southington.

The event is a free, fun-filled family festivity, but both sites will be holding charity drives for needy families in the communities. A “fill the sleigh” toy drive for Southington Community Services will be held in Plantsville at Zingarella and a non-perishable food drive will have drop-off locations at the Barnes Museum. Enjoy the festivities and spread some holiday cheer.

Here’s a guide with everything you need to know to enjoy the event:

The Village of Plantsville

Traffic will be detoured at 4 p.m., and Plantsville will be the official start of the White Christmas in the Community event. Get there early and enjoy the local fanfare leading up to the 5:30 p.m. lighting ceremony.

  • Santa Claus will be welcoming children at the Plantsville fire house with gifts, soup, and raffle prizes while you wait.
  • Horse-drawn trolleys will be departing from Wells Fargo Bank.
  • Enjoy a hot chocolate courtesy of Southington Community Services, while you compete in the snow ball toss at Zingarella. While enjoying the fun, spread a little holiday spirit with a donation of a new, unwrapped toy to for SCS.
  • Warm yourself up at Faith Living Church, where visitors will be treated to a bonfire and live entertainment.
  • Stroll around Plantsville center and enjoy the Christmas music provided by Jerry Limmer.
  • Pop into the participating merchants until 9 p.m. for refreshments and treats. Enjoy face painting and balloon animals while those on Santa’s “Nice List” can get some letter-writing help from Santa’s elves.

Southington Center

Traffic will be detoured at 4 p.m., and there’s plenty to do before and after the lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m.

  • Santa Claus will be welcoming children at Bank of America, where those on the “Nice List” can get some letter-writing help from Santa’s elves until 7 p.m.
  • Meet Mrs. Claus at Paul Gregory’s, or pick up your reindeer food and gifts at Mr. B’s Jerky.
  • Horse-drawn trolleys will be traveling on Center Street to link visitors with the rail-trail activities and enjoy the live Nativity scene.
  • Enjoy a petting zoo with a herd of “reindeer” goats.
  • Step out of the cold at SoCCA where local artists can make their own Christmas tree ornaments.
  • Enjoy popcorn and games at Witchdoctor.
  • Touch a firetruck
  • Enjoy the entertainment on the mobile stage.
  • Step back in time at the Barnes Museum and enjoy the historic home dressed up for the holidays. Stop by for a short break or to drop off your non-perishable food donations to benefit Bread for Life.
  • Pop into the participating merchants until 9 p.m. for refreshments and treats.

Travel Between Events

  • Enjoy hay rides on the rail-trail with carol singing and lighted Christmas village scenes along the trail.
  • Travel back and forth between the Southington and Plantsville aboard the trolley car and enjoy a show with Mr. Magic.

Event Parking

The Southington Police Department announced the town’s parking restrictions for the 2017 White Christmas in the Community event tonight. On Friday, Dec. 1, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., there will be special parking restrictions. All violators will be subject to a $35 fine and towing of the vehicle.

Southington Parking

The following streets in downtown Southington will be posted as no parking on either side of the street:

  • Center Street
  • Liberty Place
  • High Street
  • Center Place
  • Liberty Street
  • North Liberty Street
  • South Center Street
  • Main Street

Parking is available in downtown Southington at the following parking lots:

  • Southington Public Library, 255 Main St.
  • Derynoski Elementary School, 240 Main St.
  • Riccio Way municipal lot
  • Columbus Avenue entrance to Factory Square
  • Town Hall, 75 Main St.
  • TD Bank, 121 Main St.

In addition, access to Center Street and Apple Alley will be shut down at 4 p.m. on the day of the event.

One way traffic regulations on Center Place and Liberty Place will be suspended during the event to allow access to residents from North Liberty Street.

Plantsville Parking

The following streets in downtown Plantsville will be posted as no parking on either side of the street:

  • West Main Street
  • Church Street
  • Summer Street
  • Cowles Avenue
  • Hillside Avenue
  • South Main Street
  • Grove St.

Parking is available in downtown Plantsville at the following parking lots:

  • Plantsville Congregational Church, 109 Church St.
  • Plantsville Green (Clock Tower Square)
  • Plantsville Elementary School, 70 Church St.
  • Foodology, 991 South Main St.

In addition, access to West Main Street and Summer Street south of Cowles Avenue will be shut down at 4 p.m. on the day of the event.

For more information about White Christmas in the Community, visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WhiteChristmasintheCommunity

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