The decorations may be up and stores full of gift ideas, but Christmas in Wellesley officially starts with the Christmas parade and tree lighting Dec. 11.
This is the 19th year for the annual tradition enjoyed by young and old alike. This year’s event includes story time with Santa for preschoolers, the parade, a live nativity and carol singing.
The tree lighting is a fundraiser for Meals on Wheels and the Community Action Program for Children. Bulbs can be purchased for $5 each at a dozen businesses in the village, and donations can be made up to Dec. 31.
“Those have always been the two programs that we’ve donated to,” said organizer Marilyn Bisch. “It helps all the families and seniors in the community, so it’s pretty well covering everybody.”
The day’s events kick off with preschool story time with Santa at the Pfeifer Gallery between 3:30 and 4:30 and again at 7:30. Kids under six will get free treat bags and photos with Santa.
A live nativity, complete with sheep, goats and even a camel, will be presented beside Wellesley pond at 6:30 and again at 7:20 p.m. The parade starts at 6:45, and the lighting of the tree will happen at approximately 7:30 p.m.
The Wellesley Youth Advisory Council will be collecting donations of non-perishable food for Wilmot Family Services along the parade route.
Instead of cutting down a tree and setting it up on the island, as in years past, Bisch donated a live tree that has been planted beside the pond.
The honour of flipping the switch this year goes to Sue Martin, community outreach worker for CAPC. Cookies and hot apple cider will be provided during the ceremony courtesy of the Lions Club and Wellesley Apple Products.
Tom Dagg, a new member of the Wellesley Lions Club, will perform Christmas carols after the ceremony with his band, Tom Dagg and the Sounds of Six.