White Christmas in the Community is gearing up for another year of holiday cheer. On Friday, Dec. 6, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., both downtown Southington and the village of Plantsville will have caroling, crafts, cocoa and more for families and friends to enjoy.
“This event is such a wonderful precursor to the holiday season for our community,” said White Christmas in the Community steering committee member Dawn Miceli. “It allows the town of Southington to show off its two gateways—the Village of Plantsville and downtown Southington—both of which have a lot to offer in terms of the town and Plantsville greens as well as all of the retailers, restaurants, churches, banks and more.”
The event is kicked off with a tree lighting ceremony in both locations at 5:30 p.m. Two winners from the town’s “Light up the Green” contest will flip the switch of the holiday light displays in both locations to the tune of classic Christmas carols.
Merchants in both locations open up shop and embrace the Christmas spirit, offering refreshments, entertainment and more.
Ornament-making will take place in both the former Plantsville Pharmacy building on West Main Street and at Southington Community Cultural Arts (SoCCA) in downtown Southington. The Barnes Museum will host holiday house tours featuring this year’s theme: Christmas Memories. Free hot apple cider will be offered thanks to Shop Rite of Southington and the Chamber Singers will perform at 6 p.m.
Wreath-making workshops will be offered by members of LEAF, with assistance by representatives from the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain (CFGNB) who will also have their philanthropy wheel on site. The philanthropy wheel allows patrons to spin the wheel and have monies donated on their behalf to a Southington charity of their choice (those that are affiliated with CFGNB).
There will be horse-drawn carriage rides, ice-sculptures, caroling, visits with Santa, face painting, a drum circle, touch-a-firetruck and much more.
Historically, the two locations held separate event, but in recent years the Merchants of Downtown Southington and the Village of Plantsville Association have combined their efforts into one community-wide event. There are several means of transportation to bring families and friends from one location to the other throughout the night so they can enjoy both locations’ offerings.
Hay rides along the linear trail will bring people from Zingarella Pizzeria in Plantsville to Factory Square on lower Center Street. Representatives from the Lewis Educational Agricultural Farm (LEAF) bring their tractors and pull the hayrides along through the evening.
Rides along the trail will pass five specially built steel-framed light structures.
A trolley car will run back and forth along route 10, featuring Mr. Magic who performs tricks along the way. Shuttle buses provided by the Calendar House will also provide rides with pick-up and drop-off locations at Riccio Way, the Southington Public Library parking lot, and Clock Tower Square in Plantsville.
“We are able to provide all of the various activities and programs for free to our community members thanks to our generous sponsors and donors,” said Miceli. “Our volunteers also play such an important role and we especially thank members of the Southington CERT team and the Southington LIONS Club.”
A map delineating offerings and locations will be available during the event. Visit the White Christmas in the Community Facebook page for more information. The White Christmas in the Community Steering Committee is made up of Joanne Alfieri, Dolores Fanelli, Rob Flood, Dawn Miceli, and Susan Urillo Larson. The Committee thanks the various local sponsors who make this event possible.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Roy, email her at SRoy@SouthingtonObserver.com.