Gingerbread Houses a Highlight of Annual Holiday Stroll, To Be Held Friday and Saturday [SLIDESHOW]


The gingerbread houses on display in shop windows downtown (see gallery above for just some samples) have emerged as a favorite centerpiece of the annual New Canaan Chamber of Commerce Holiday Stroll, which launches Friday for its tenth year.

Sponsored by Halstead Property, which this year purchased 75 kits for New Canaan families to take home decorate, the real estate office got behind the gingerbread houses early on because they represent houses and the firm loves kids, said Sharon Maasdorp, executive director of sales at Halstead.

“Kids are invited into the office at any time, the agents’ kids and grandkids, and we thought it would be a fun way to give back to the community in a way that children could be involved, because so much is geared toward parents,” Maasdorp said.

“We love it and next year we’ll have more because this year they were gone within a week or less, all 75. It’s great, because the store people put them in their windows and then at the Stroll, the kids get to show the parents which ones are theirs. It’s very fitting for our town to have something like this.”

The stroll, which will be underway starting at 10 a.m. Friday with shopping and dining deals downtown, ramps up starting at 5 p.m. with a Saxe Middle School Sax Ensemble at South and Elm Streets, the geographic heart of the village and the Stroll.

Through 9 p.m. Friday and then again starting at 10 a.m. and through the day Saturday (see complete schedules here and here, as well as in the tables at the bottom of this article), featured events include discounts, giveaways, free refreshments and entertainment at the stores and throughout the downtown, such as live ice sculpturing sponsored by Callari Auto Group, tree lighting, caroling, pictures with Santa, Vermont Waffle Cabin and magicians.

New Canaan Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tucker Murphy with one of the oversized gift tags that will adorn lampposts downtown to help mark the Holiday Stroll kickoff. Credit: Michael Dinan

New Canaan Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tucker Murphy with one of the oversized gift tags that will adorn lampposts downtown to help mark the Holiday Stroll kickoff. Credit: Michael Dinan

Chamber Executive Director Tucker Murphy said it’s a joy to watch the kids searching up and down the street to find their own gingerbread houses.

“It has become a tradition now that it is in its tenth year,” Murphy said of the Stroll. “New Canaan transforms into a Dickens storybook with a glittering winter wonderland for all to enjoy. I love that the entire community comes together to kick off the ‘Most Wonderful Time of the Year.’ ”

Not only are lights in the trees downtown, but the lampposts are ringed with garlands (thanks mostly to the NCHS Service League of Boys) and then affixed with oversized gift tags that echo the giving spirit of the season.

For New Canaan Olive Oil owner Heidi Burrows, the Holiday Stroll is “important for New Canaan and for us because people who don’t visit the town on a regular basis definitely come out for the Holiday Stroll.”

“I know that last year, people were still discovering us and even this year, people who didn’t see us will at the Holiday Stroll, and sample our products and shop,” Burrows continued. “They will not just walk around, but shop and the chamber has done a great job of making sure businesses profit from the event which is really, really nice.”

As a new business, Burrows said, it’s important for prospective customers to find out about New Canaan Olive Oil and then come back—and the gingerbread houses are a key to creating that dynamic.

“I know the chamber puts that on so that people can walk around a look in all the windows and see what families and kids in town have done, which is a cute, family-oriented idea that also lets people look in every window and business. So the chamber is very creative in drawing people to the businesses and into our doors.”

Here are two tables that list all the events, deals and discounts planned for the Holiday Stroll for Friday and Saturday:

Schedule: Friday, Dec. 5—New Canaan Chamber of Commerce Holiday Stroll

10 a.m.9 p.m.Strolling, Shopping & DiningDowntown New Canaan
5:15 p.m.5:45 p.m.Saxe Middle School Sax Ensemble
Under the direction of Chris Coulter
South & Elm
5 p.m.8 p.m.Hot Dogs for sale! Brought to you by the Kiwanis ClubElm & South
5 p.m.9 p.m.Make-a-Wish FoundationBaskin-Robbins, 103 Main St.
6 p.m.9 p.m.Waffle Cabin from Vermont!Movie theater, brought to you by the chamber!
6 p.m.8:30 p.m.Holiday trinkets for sale!5 lighted cars roaming downtown
5:30 p.m.9 p.m.Gingerbread House tourNew Canaan Store Windows, sponsored by Halstead Property
5:45 p.m.8:30 p.m.New Canaan Town Street LightingSouth & Elm
Outdoor stage program with Rob Mallozzi & Tucker Murphy as Masters of CeremoniesPerformances by New Canaan Dance Academy, Performing Arts Conservatory, Santa & Mrs. Claus Arrive, Lighting of downtown trees, Magical Music Singers
6 p.m.8 p.m.Characters certain to make you smile: Rudolph, Frosty & the GrinchSponsored by Handwright Gallery
6 p.m.8:30 p.m.Enjoy homemade chestnut soup prepared by elm Restaurant73 Elm St.
6 p.m.8:30 p.m.Red Kite Toffee & Caramel Tastingdesign solutions, 146 Elm St.
6 p.m.8 p.m.Open House with RefreshmentsBerkshire Hathaway, 98 Park St.
6 p.m.8 p.m.Holiday Cocktail Party catered by Fjord FisheriesWilliam Raveis Real Estate, 4 Elm St.
6 p.m.8 p.m.Ed Wright Guitarist & PartyBarbara Cleary's Realty Guild, 6 South Ave.
6 p.m.8 p.m.Annual Fabulous SoireeWAVE, 107 Main St.
6 p.m.8 p.m.Scarves $10 each—three for $25Caren Forbes, 111 Main St.
6 p.m.8 p.m.Donating 15% of sales to the New England Academy of Dance; enter to win a $500 gift cardJ. McLaughlin, 116 Elm St.
6 p.m.8 p.m.2014 Commemorative NC Ornament, mention Holiday Stroll for 10% offM Milestones, 32 Forest St.
6 p.m.8 p.m.10% off $50 or more, 20% off $100 or moreSummer House, 32 Forest St.
6 p.m.8 p.m.Artists at workSorelle Gallery, 84 Main St.
6 p.m.8 p.m.10% off $500 or moreTaylor's Luggage, 8 Elm St.
6 p.m.8 p.m.1-year Anniversary PartyEarth Garden, 89 Elm St.
6 p.m.8 p.m.Come dressed in holiday costume & enter drawing for free pair of shoesNew Balance, 129 Main St.
6 p.m.8 p.m.Stop in for a $25 gift cardSalon Kiklo, 126 Main St.
6 p.m.8 p.m.Festive drinks & appetizersVineyard Vines, 67 Elm St.
6 p.m.8 p.m.Prosecco will be flowing & treats for all, 10% off full-priced itemsLyn Evans Potpourri, 103 Elm St.
6 p.m.8 p.m.Lite fare & drinksSuburban Couture, 110 Main St.
6 p.m.8 p.m.Beverages, cheeses & crackersGoldenberry, 149 Cherry St.
6 p.m.9 p.m.Complimentary hot cider & mulled wine. Marshmallows for toasting on the firepit!Boulevard 18, 62 Main St.
6 p.m.9 p.m.Complimentary hot cocoaSole, 105 Elm St.
6 p.m.9 p.m.Tattinger champagne tastingFranco's Wine Merchants, 130 Elm St.
6 p.m.8 p.m.Eggnog & cider at Small Works ShowHandwright Gallery, 91-93 Main St.
6 p.m.8 p.m.Holiday cheer!NC Healthfare, 2 Morse Court
6 p.m.8 p.m.20% off purchasesSara Campbell, 137 Elm St.
6 p.m.8 p.m.15% off purchasesConsider the Cook, 145 Elm St.
6 p.m.8 p.m.Cookies & TreatsTogs, 66 Elm St.
6:30 p.m.6:45 p.m.Santa & Mrs. Claus arrivalSponsored by Camp Playland & Ralph Lauren Children's Store
6 p.m.8 p.m.Art Show Opening, drinks & cookiesHeather Gaudio Fine Art, 21 South Ave.
6 p.m.8 p.m.Crazy Holiday CharactersCandy Scoop, in the alley
7 p.m.9 p.m.Holiday Party at Jack WillsJack Wills, 136 Elm St.

Saturday, Dec. 6—New Canaan Chamber of Commerce Holiday Stroll

10 a.m.5 p.m.Strolling, Shopping & DiningDowntown New Canaan
10 a.m.4 p.m.Holiday Trinkets for SaleMovie Theater
10 a.m.12 p.m.MagicianRoaming, sponsored by Bankwell in New Canaan
10 a.m.5 p.m.Gingerbread House TourSponsored by Halstead Property, New Canaan store windows
10 a.m.3 p.m.Come meet Santda & have a photo opportunity at the same time!Ralph Lauren Children's, 115 Elm St.
10 a.m.3 p.m.Waffle Cabin from Vermont!Brought to you by the Chamber Movie Theater
10 a.m.4 p.m.Children's activityHandwright Gallery, 91-93 Main St.
10 a.m.6 p.m.10% off all Lego productsNC Toy Store, 94 Park St.
10 a.m.3 p.m.Crafts & Candy Canes with the NC Community FoundationMovie Theater
10 a.m.3 p.m.Artists at workSorelle Gallery, 84 Main St.
10 a.m.6 p.m.Complimentary book, 'Modern Views,' with $100 purchaseGlass House Gift Shop, 199 Elm St.
10:30 a.m.3 p.m.Toy Soldier to Charm You! (roaming)Sponsored by L'Armoire
10 a.m.3 p.m.Characters certain to make you smile: Rudolph, Frosty & the GrinchSponsored by Jack Spade & Rand Insurance
11 a.m.2 p.m.Sample free organic hot teasGreen & Tonic, Elm Street
12 p.m.2 p.m.Hear the Norwalk Symphony Quintet on Elm StreetSponsored by Silver Hill Hospital
1 p.m.4 p.m.Wine TastingFranco's Wine Merchants, 130 Elm St.
1 p.m.1:30 p.m.3 Ice Carving demonstration, around townSponsored by Callari Auto Group
1:45 p.m.3 p.m.Enjoy the New Canaan Dance Academy ShowBank of America (outdoors), 98 Park St.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *