Nashua’s Holiday Stroll turns 20 this year, and in honor of its birthday, Great American Downtown is adding some new events to the traditional mix.
Each year the stroll brings in thousands of residents from Nashua and surrounding towns to walk the candlelit path and watch the tree lighting. This year the Spartans will be leading that procession, followed by some baton twirlers and Santa riding in an antique car.
“It’s going to be a little more spectacular than in years past,” said Rebecca Dixon, executive director of Great American Downtown.
Dixon said there’s also a new gingerbread contest called Home for the Holidays, hosted by the St. Philip Greek Orthodox Church and held at Martha’s Exchange from 4 to 9 p.m. The event was open to all ages (the entry period is now closed), and participants entered one of six categories: kids, teen, family, group, adult non-professional and adult business professional. Ribbons will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place winners. The winning houses from each category and the top three from the adult business professional category will be displayed in some Main Street storefronts.
Those who attend the stroll will be able to listen to a variety of local music, including big band jazz, country, bluegrass, indie rock, choirs, and a cappella groups. These musicians will be playing at various locations on Main Street all night long.
“We have more entertainment than ever before,” Dixon said. “We have 75 performances in 35 venues, so there is something for everyone at the stroll.”
In addition to music, the stroll will include shows from the Peacock Players, Northern Ballet Theatre and Dance in Motion, a dance team from YMCA. People will be able to visit booths from the Rhythmic Revolutions Baton Twirling Team, Tokyo Joe’s Studio and Z Club Zumba NH to sign up for lessons and classes. Stephanie Beach Magic will put on a magic show at the Nashua Public Library at 5:45 p.m.
Strollers will be able to enjoy the ice sculptures in front of city hall, face painting, a lumberjack demo, which is new this year, and, weather permitting, the New Hampshire Astronomical Society will be at the stroll with telescopes pointed to the sky.
“We are also going to have a spectacular fire-on-the-water display on the river,” Dixon said, noting that it’s another new attraction. “We are really excited about that. ... We also have a commemorative ornament that we will be selling this year.”
The Holiday Stroll will take place in downtown Nashua on Nov. 30 from 5 to 10 p.m. There will be parking at Rivier University and Holman Stadium with free shuttles that will run continuously from 4 to 10:30 p.m.
Appeared in the Nov. 28, 2013 issue of the Hippo