White Christmas event adds ice sculptures, goats, and scavenger hunts

Once again, horse and carriage rides will escort visitors through the downtown areas in Southington and Plantsville.

By SHERIDAN CYR

STAFF WRITER

There is much to look forward to at this year’s White Christmas in the Community event on Friday, Dec. 7. Officials have jam-packed the evening with holiday activities, so families can jump full-fledged into the Christmas spirit.

“White Christmas in the Community is such a Norman Rockwell-type of event that really kicks off the holiday season for our residents and our town,” said WCC committee member Dawn Miceli. “It’s special in so many ways because it involves our business community, a plethora of our civic and non-profit organizations, generous donors and volunteers—all of whom get in the spirit of the season to offer a complimentary evening of family activities and community fun.”

The event involves both Plantsville and Southington downtown regions, with simultaneous tree lightings scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at both locations. Horse-drawn carriage rides on the Linear Trail between Zingarella and Factory Square will bring visitors to-and-from each location. A trolley ride will traverse from Riccio Way in Southington to Wells Fargo in Plantsville. Both rides are one-way. They do travel back, but guests must get off and re-enter the line.

In downtown Southington, 29 merchants will partake in the event, and will be welcoming guests with refreshments, entertainment and various holiday activities. Seventeen merchants in downtown Plantsville will do the same.

The Southington Chamber of Commerce has organized an apple scavenger hunt at both locations, and the Southington Historical Society has planned an array of family activities.

Activities in the village of Planstville include an ice sculptor on the village green, a visit from the Bradley Mountain Farm goats, and crafts, storytelling and other various events at the Southington Public Library. An ice sculptor will be set up in the Factory Square parking lot in downtown Southington, as well.

Wreath making will take place on the town green with L.E.A.F., sponsored by the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain.

“The planning for this event starts in January and is coordinated by five committee members: myself, Rob Flood, Joanne Alfieri, Susan Urillo Larson and Dolores Fanelli,” said Miceli. “We work in conjunction with so many organizations including the town of Southington, Southington Police and Fire departments, the CERT team, Southington Lions Club, LEAF, the Southington Historical Society, Southington Public Library, the Barnes Museum, First Congregational Church, Faith Living Church, SoCCA, the Girl Scouts, and of course all of the participating businesses.”

This year, along the rail trail, last year’s lighted ornaments will be joined by two new, steel-framed, LED-lit structures, constructed by an artist-welder in Utah. Joining the apple, moose and bear will be a nine-foot-long prancing horse and a seven-foot-tall deer. The horse was donated by Southington natives and business owners Colleen and Gary Saucier, who own Hayes Equestrian Center.

Free shuttle bus rides on the Calendar House buses will be provided to guests. Bus stops include Riccio Way in downtown Southington, Southington Public Library parking lot, and the Clocktower Square in the Plantsville Green.

For full maps of each location, showing scavenger hunt locations and participating merchants, visit WCC on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/WhiteChristmasInTheCommunity.

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