THE WAKEFIELD MEMORIAL HIGH SCHOOL Marching Band strolled down Main Street to kick off the 2018 Holiday Stroll. (Mark Sardella Photo)
By MARK SARDELLA
WAKEFIELD — There won’t be a Holiday Stroll again this year, but there is no shortage of activities around town to help keep you in the spirit of the season. The Stroll was not held in 2020 due to COVID. Lingering concerns, a shortage of volunteers and a reluctance on the part of some businesses to host indoor activities resulted in the event’s cancellation for a second year. Organizers expect that the Holiday Stroll will return in 2022.
In the meantime, here’s a sampling of local activities for all ages between now and Christmas.
Tonight at 6:30, The Wakefield Center Neighborhood Association presents its annual “Lighting of the Lights” ceremony on Veterans Memorial Common (Upper Common). The holiday lights on the Common and the Town Christmas Tree will be turned on for the first time. The evening includes hot chocolate, choir singing and a visit from Frosty the Snowman!
Before or after the Lighting of the Lights, stop by the First Parish Congregational Church (1 Church St., next to the Common) for their Christmas Fair and Market. The fair runs tonight from 5-8 p.m. and Saturday from 10-1 p.m. Gift baskets, festive home decor, delicious baked goods and gift items will be available. If you go on Friday between 6 and 8 p.m., you’ll be treated to a complimentary slice of pie!
Opening tonight and running through Dec. 11, Quannapowitt Players presents perennial audience favorite and annual fundraiser, “Suburban Holidays,” a lineup of six short plays by New England playwrights celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas and all things holiday! The show features nearly 30 local actors from Wakefield and other area communities. Performances are Dec. 3, 4, 10 and 11 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 5, at 2 p.m. at Quannapowitt Players, 55 Hopkins St. in Reading. Tickets are $20 general admission. To purchase tickets, call 781-942-2212 or visit www.qptheater.com/box-office.
Most Blessed Sacrament Church at 1155 Main Street in Greenwood presents its annual Holly Festival and Craft Fair tomorrow from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event features a craft fair, raffles, bake table, unique gifts, gift baskets, wreaths, handmade items and lunch!
Tomorrow, Santa Claus will tour the streets of Wakefield aboard a vehicle provided by Sal Barbagallo of Subaru of Wakefield. The tour, sponsored by the Wakefield-Lynnfield Chamber of Commerce, will feature Santa and his helpers as they travel through Wakefield beginning at 11 a.m. from Wakefield Memorial High School. The town-wide tour will wind through a number of main streets before ending back at the high school. Santa’s Wakefield Tour will include Toys for Tots collection boxes along the route where local residents and friends can donate new unwrapped toys for the Wakefield Police Department’s annual collection. The boxes will be placed along the route in designated locations a half-hour before the tour begins and will be collected after Santa passes by. For details and a complete route of streets, go to wakefieldlynnfieldchamber.org/.
First Parish Congregational Church is hosting a Living Nativity on the Lower Common on Saturday Dec. 4, at 5 p.m. There will be a petting zoo and after the show, the community is invited for cookies and hot chocolate in the church at 1 Church street next to the Common.
On Saturday, Dec. 4, Kidcasso Art Studio and Move2Joy at 101 and 106 Albion St. invite you to welcome the season with creators and local businesses at “An Evening of Merry Making” from 5:30-8:30 p.m. The event is billed as “An evening of hands-on demonstrations, shopping, tasting, community building.” For more information and to RSVP, go to move2joy.com/merryevent.
On Sunday, Dec. 5, the Col. James Hartshorne House presents its Christmas Tea. An annual holiday tradition, the Hartshorne House at 41 Church Street will be beautifully decorated and will welcome visitors from 2-4 p.m. No admission fee. Masks and social distancing required. No food or drink this year but expect raffles and special surprises.
On Saturday, Dec. 11, Santa will arrive on the Upper Common at 1p.m. in a sleigh (courtesy of Designer Christmas Trees) escorted by the Wakefield Police and Fire Departments. Santa will greet children, who will be invited to visit with him in his Headquarters after his arrival. Thereafter, Santa will be at his headquarters Dec. 11-23, week days from 3:30-7 p.m. and weekends 1-5 p.m. Santa’s arrival and Headquarters are sponsored by the Wakefield Lions Club.
On Saturday, Dec. 18, starting at 12 noon, Wakefield’s Veterans Advisory Board is participating in the Wreaths Across America program, with wreath-laying ceremonies at Forest Glade Cemetery on Lowell Street. With a goal to remember the fallen and honor those who serve, wreath-laying ceremonies take place at more than 1,600 locations across the United States. Anyone wishing to contribute can visit https://bit.ly/forestglade and click the red “Sponsor Wreaths” button. The code for Forest Glade is MAFGCW. If you would like to volunteer at the event, click the “Volunteer” button on the homepage.