Published in the November 29, 2018 edition

WAKEFIELD — On Saturday, December 1, downtown Wakefield will be transformed into a winter wonderland as we celebrate the season with the annual Holiday Stroll and Shop.

The festivities kick off on Saturday at 3 p.m. with the Holiday Hat Parade. Kids (and adults) of all ages are encouraged to come wearing their most creative head attire. The procession, led by the high school marching band, will start at Americal Civic Center and go up Main Street to the steps of the Beebe Library. In honor of the 10th anniversary, a small ceremony will take place honoring the founders of the Holiday Stroll: Steve Maio, Susan Wetmore, Susan Majeski and Larry Andrews. At that time, the Wakefield Community Partnership (WCP), the sponsors of the stroll, will also present $500 checks to both First Baptist Church of Wakefield and Tall Spire Nursery School.

“We’re excited to be celebrating the 10th year of this wonderful community celebration,” said Paul DiNocco, President of the WCP, the organizers of the event. “It gives people the opportunity to get together with their friends and family and celebrate the holiday season. It’s also a great opportunity for community members to see what downtown Wakefield has to offer.”

Throughout the Stroll and Shop, much of downtown Wakefield is closed to traffic so Strollers can enjoy live entertainment, dine in downtown’s fine restaurants and Shop Small at local businesses. Participating merchants have decorated store fronts and some have in-store shopping specials or live music. A number of businesses will also be drop off locations for the first ever toy drive. By donating a new, unwrapped toy, participants will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win theatre tickets from Northshore Music Theatre, IMAX theater, or Greater Boston Stage Company. Drop off locations will be on Main Street at Holiday Travel and The Saving Bank, on Albion Street at Cedric’s Studio and Berkshire Hathaway HomeService Commonwealth Real Estate Centre Street, and at Santa’s Main Workshop in the tent on Centre Street.

There will be plenty of entertainment throughout the stroll including performances by local dance studios, high school musicians and singers,

Betty’s Bounce, the elf on stilts, Alyssa Adario, magicians, jugglers, the Memory Laners, the Middlesex Concert Band, face painters, The Very Merry Dickens Carolers and balloon artists. Be sure to take a ride in the horse drawn carriages or on the roaming railroad. For a full list of activities, locations and time, visit

The Stroll and Shop would not be possible if not for all of the wonderful sponsors: Platinum sponsor – Brightview Senior Living; Diamond sponsors – First Financial Trust, The Savings Bank; Bag sponsors – Gentle Dental, Hallmark Health, Wakefield Co-operative Bank, Wakefield Custom Dental; Gold sponsors – alano, Broco Oil, Cedric Studio, Christopher J. Barrett Realtors, Dance Studio of Wakefield, East Boston Savings Bank, Independent Concrete, Northshore Numismatics, Sakura Organic, Wakefield Co-operative Bank; Silver sponsors: Brothers Deli, Catch the FUNk!, Hart’s Ace Hardware, Holiday Travel, J’Adore, Keith’s Tree Service, The Sweetbay Shop, Wakefield Jeweler; Bronze sponsors: A Unique Salon and Spa, Dance Track Studio, De Novo Salon, Florence’s Fashions, Gone to the Dogs, North Star Realtors, Public Kitchen, and Create Artisan Studio.