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Courtesy of Karen Bachelder.




Bring on the lights!
Holiday Stroll doubles down on Christmas lights

11/24/16
By Ryan Lessard news@hippopress.com



 In its 23rd year, the Winter Holiday Stroll in Nashua will take place on Nov. 26 from 5 to 10 p.m. As always, it will begin with a candlelit procession from City Hall to the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the Hunt Memorial Building — but this year’s event will have more than three times as many lights decorating downtown. 

Paul Shea, the executive director of Great American Downtown in Nashua, said the downtown area will be decorated with about 30,000 new points of light. Last year, there were about 8,200 lights, including 4,000 on the Christmas tree.
“So it will be a very significant increase,” Shea said.
Garlands with warm LED lights will illuminate both sides of Main Street on a total of 50 poles. There will also be 200 novelty lights called “starlight orbs” in trees up and down the street.
During the procession, Shea said, they will continue to build on the use of Diwali candles known as diyas. 
“This will be the second year that we will have diya candles at the procession,” Shea said.
Diwali is the Indian festival of lights. And Shea said they hope to continue adding more lights to the event every year. 
A few other features are new this year, such as the Polar Express Train Ride, a free 30- by 80-foot train for kids of all ages. Also new is the use of 3-D animated surface projections on the Hunt Memorial clock tower, the TD Bank building and 186 Main St.
Robots will be returning this year, including the kind kids can ride.
“We will have a set of animatronic ride-on animals, including moose, a pair of reindeer and a polar bear. These are slow walking robots that … children of all ages can ride,” Shea said.
And FIRST Robotics teams from Nashua High Schools and Bishop Guertin High School will showcase their projects.
Ice sculptures are also returning, and this year they will be Pokemon-themed.
Throughout the night, there will be shows from more than 50 performing groups such as actors, musicians and magicians.
Folks who stop in at area shops and restaurants can get their “Snowball Passport” stamped; when they get six stamps, they can turn in the passport to enter to win up to $300 in gift certificates to downtown businesses.
Shea said he expects between 30,000 and 36,000 visitors this year. 





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