Published November 21, 2019


NORTH READING — It’s back, it’s free, and it’s bigger than last year.

After a successful inaugural event held to kick off the holiday season in 2018, Light Up Main Street for Christmas returns this Sunday, November 24 in the parking lot at Kitty’s, 123 Main St., from 2-5 p.m.

Come for the Ugly Sweater Contest. Come for the Apple Pie Eating Contest. Come for the Christmas Carol Sing-Off. Come for the free sleigh rides, free letters to Santa and free photos with Santa. Come for the Disney Princesses. And yes, come to help flip the switch to light up Main Street. Just come on down; all are welcome. Prizes will be awarded to contest winners!

All of the attractions are provided free of charge, compliments of local North Reading businesses as a thank-you for your business during the past year.

To provide more room at the site for vendors and activities, and to ensure the safety of all patrons, St. Theresa’s Parish, 63 Winter St., has generously offered the use of their large parking lot for this event. It is just short walk along the sidewalk to Kitty’s. (A designated handicap parking area will be provided at the Kitty’s lot.)

Also new this year, Santa’s sleigh ride will operate in an area separated from the vendors with its own designated roped off waiting area.

There will be free hot cocoa, popcorn and pizza from a Pizza Goddess food truck. Be sure to visit the vendor tables to learn about local businesses and the services they offer.

Get your child’s photo taken with Santa at the Mirror Me Booth, or with the wandering Disney Princesses, be amazed by a demonstration by Reading Gymnastics and enjoy the DJ music and apple-pie eating contest play-by-play provided by Phil Carbone.

Veterans, We want You!

This year’s event is dedicated to all veterans. North Reading’s Veterans’ Services Director Susan Magner will have a booth at the event to provide educational material to the public about the many services available to all veterans.

Plus, the Light Up committee is inviting all veterans from North Reading and surrounding communities to help Santa flip the switch at the appointed hour! Please meet in the lot at Kitty’s by 4:40 p.m. to be part of the parade. Santa, with the help of Minit and Militia drummer (and Vietnam veteran) Rich Stratton keeping the beat, will lead a parade through the vendor area with the veterans and Santa leading the children in the parade to the landscaped island at the main entrance to Kitty’s where the Christmas tree and winter wonderland display will be lit.

Food Pantry donations

In the spirit of the season, please consider paying it forward by supporting the North Reading Food Pantry with donations of personal care items and cleaning supplies. Items such as shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, razors, sanitary products, incontinence pads, soap, Saran wrap, Ziploc bags and Lysol wipes are needed by the Pantry but not as readily available through the Greater Boston Food Bank. SNAP benefits may not be used to purchase taxable items

“A quick shopping trip means you can make a big difference to our neighbors in need. Please help if you can!” said Penny Richards, a member of the Light Up Main Street planning committee.

Schedule of events

2 p.m.:      Welcoming remarks from Al Pereira

2:30 p.m.: Reading Gymnastics demonstrations

3 p.m.:      Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest (children & adults)

3:30 p.m.: Pie Eating contest – children

3:45 p.m.: Pie Eating contest – adult

4 p.m.:      Battle of Christmas Carol Sing-off between 3 businesses

4:30 p.m.: Santa’s Photo Booth closes

4:45 p.m.: Santa and veterans lead parade to the Christmas Tree (landscaped island at front of Kitty’s)

5 p.m. Santa and veterans light the Christmas tree.

Please note that this is a “carry-in/carry out” event so please be prepared to bring your trash home.

If you have any questions about the event contact Al Pereira, 978-664-5272 or follow us on or North Reading News to view the latest videos promoting the event.

Ho, Ho, Ho. See you there!