Everyone is gearing up for the holiday season, and this year there will be a special one for Waterbury's downtown. The newly renovated City Hall building will be open for special guided tours in December, leading up to the grand rededication ceremony on January 1st. You can stay updated on the City Hall events through the official website (still being fleshed out).
The city started putting up the holiday lights on the Green yesterday. The lights will be turned on during the Tree Lighting Ceremony the day after Thanksgiving. It's always breathtakingly beautiful, and the perfect thing to dispel the gloom of winter. I wish they would keep them on until February. The Waterbury Spirit Committee will work with Main Street, the City, the Brass Mill Mall, and Ryan Gomes to provide ice skating during the tree-lighting and for the rest of the season. Following the ceremony, artificial ice will be set up behind the library, on the enclosed courtyard, and skates will be available for free for young children.
Many of the downtown businesses also get into the festive winter spirit and decorate their store windows. Main Street Waterbury will once again this year be holding a Holiday Window Display Competition to encourage and celebrate the spectacular displays. Photos of previous years' displays are in some of my older blog posts--2008 (also with images from the Tree Lighting Ceremony), a few 2007 displays and 2006 displays.
John Bale Books on Grand Street will be hosting a series of free Saturday programs in December: Regina Laudis Scola will perform on December 4; Elaine Schieffer will be doing Christmas Karaoke on December 11; and a wonderfully talented Sacred Heart student will be singing her original songs on December 18.
Also coming up this season is Shakesperience's production of A Christmas Carol, which will be performed Dec. 16th-19th 7pm every night with a 2pm matinee on Saturday and Sunday. And keep an eye out for information about the Festival of Trees and the classic displays at the Howland Hughes Center. Below are some photos from the Festival at Howland Hughes last year. If you've never taken your kids there, you should--Hank Paine does such a great job, especially with the animatronic "activation".